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The Vanishing Man

R. Austin Freeman

Book Overview: 

A young doctor, former student of the legal and medical expert Dr. John Thorndyke, finds himself almost accidentally drawn into a case in which a man has vanished. Perhaps he has died; perhaps not;but the issue is very important because the will that he has left behind is curiously -- annoyingly curiously -- worded. Fortunately, Dr. Thorndyke's rationality combined with his forensic skills, bring the case to a conclusion, while the young doctor meets the love of his life in the Egyptian rooms of the British Museum.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .wn through the middle arch of the bridge with a lugsail hoisted to a jury mast and a white-aproned woman at the tiller. Dreamily I watched the craft creep by upon the moving tide, noted the low freeboard, almost awash, the careful helmswoman, and the dog on the forecastle yapping at the distant shore—and thought of Ruth Bellingham.

What was there about this strange girl that had made so deep an impression on me? That was the question that I propounded to myself, and not for the first time. Of the fact itself there was no doubt. But what was the explanation? Was it her unusual surroundings? Her occupation and rather recondite learning? Her striking personality and exceptional good looks? Or her connection with the dramatic mystery of her lost uncle?

I concluded that it was all of these. Everything connected with her was unusual and arresting; but over and above these circumstances there was a certain sympathy and personal affinity of which . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Loved it. Wish I had read it when I first bought it over 30 years ago. (Why did I wait so long?) Yes, the language, especially in dialogs, was a bit formal and stilted to a modern ear. Yes, the gender attitudes were old-fashioned. (What else would I expect in a book written in the 1911?) But the...more

This book contains less science-talk than the first Thorndyke-novel. The Red Thumb Mark had so many pages dedicated to explanations of the scienctific background of the case that even I almost got slightly bored. The Eye of Osiris still has enough to deserve the description "it's like Sherlock Ho...more

London, late 1890's, early 1900's, science, murder mystery, Egyptian antiquities, Dr. John Thorndyke (no Holmesian addictions) as a professor of medicine and 'pathological sleuth'. What's not to like? And a little to learn about murder, the problem of survivorship, a bit of a love story, too. Wel...more

Tôi chỉ thấy nó hay ở hai chương cuối cùng. May là nó còn hay đấy nhé. :))

Đầu tiên là khen đã:
Trinh thám cổ điển - trinh thám pháp y. Chủ đề mới, đọc rất lạ, khá thú vị. Thêm nữa là mớ kiến thức tác giả nhồi vào cuốn này hơi không dễ đọc cho lắm. Thật ra thì em cũng đọc và biết thế, chứ có phải...more

A slightly better mystery then previous Thorndyke novels, this one ultimately suffered from the heavy-handedness of the romantic sub-plot, and, to a lesser degree, the switching of narrators. Thorndyke himself plays a relatively minor role; he is instrumental to the solving of the crime but becom...more

Sometimes one is disappointed when reading a “classic” wondering just what it was that made others rate a book so highly. That has happened to this reviewer often enough to make approaching “must-reads” and “classics” filled with trepidation. In this case, however, the reasons why so many have in...more

A wonderful mystery with just the right spookiness to hold your attention right through. The suspense builds and builds right to the end and the conclusion perfect. What could be better than a mystery all tied up with archaeologists?

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