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The Council of Justice

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 4 months ago

Wallace, Edgar - The Council of Justice (1908)

 

A second outing for the Three Just Men, this time joined by a royal Fourth and facing an attack from the Red Hundred, an international organisation of anarchists -- and if that sounds like an oxymoron, then you just aren't suspending enough belief. The Red Hundred are led by Maria, the Woman of Gratz, a young and beautiful fanatic, who develops a soft spot for George Manfred, one of the Just Men: but that doesn't prevent her from having him sent to jail and led off to execution at the end of the book. Luckily the Just Men, with the reluctant cooperation of Scotland Yard, have already foiled the Red Hundred's plans via such means as trained falcons and purpose-built execution sheds in the mountains of Spain, and they still have a trick up their sleeve...

 

This book was the beginning of the Just Men's gradual rehabilitation, which eventually resulted in their reappearing on the side of the law. Wallace writes with verve and some of his minor characters on both sides are more interesting than the omnipotent and almost indistinguishable Just Men themselves, but in terms of plot this is mostly hand-waving. Where do the Just Men get their information? Wallace doesn't tell us. How do they manage to track people that Scotland Yard can't find? Compared with E Phillips Oppenheim, for instance, Wallace's international intrigues are the stuff of flimsiest fantasy.

 

But a rollicking good read all the same.

 

The Council of Justice is available for download from Gutenberg Australia.

 

Jon.

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