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Old 09-08-2011, 08:31 AM   #1
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Oppenheim, E. Phillips: The Vanished Messenger. V1. 8 Sep 2011

Edward Phillips Oppenheim (October 22, 1866 – February 3, 1946), was an English novelist, in his lifetime a major and successful writer of genre fiction including thrillers .A best-selling author of novels, short stories, magazine articles, translations, and plays, Oppenheim published over 150 books. He is considered one of the originators of the thriller genre, his novels also range from spy thrillers to romance, but all have an undertone of intrigue.

Excerpt
There were very few people upon Platform Number Twenty-one of Liverpool Street Station at a quarter to nine on the evening of April 2 - possibly because the platform in question is one of the most remote and least used in the great terminus. The station-master, however, was there himself, with an inspector in attendance.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:28 PM   #2
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This is pretty good, if a bit predictable after the few few chapters. Like a lot of his novels written just before WW1 (1914 in this case) it's set amidst a backdrop of the various nations of the world gathering for war, only needing a spark to set it off.

In this case, the vanished messenger, who has been waylaid by a mysterious recluse on the coast of England. But why? To prevent war or to cause it?

As in his best works, he ratchets up the tension quite nicely. (And of course, like all his books, there is a romantic subplot)
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:34 PM   #3
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Might I suggest putting possible plot spoilers in the proper context so as to not risk spoiling the story?
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
Might I suggest putting possible plot spoilers in the proper context so as to not risk spoiling the story?
I did - the whole story is about why he vanishes, not that he does, which is kind of given away by the title.

By the time the story really starts and the protagonist enters the book, everything I said is already established.

If you think a description of two people standing on a train platform does better justice to this novel...
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:52 PM   #5
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Actually I meant something like this
Spoiler:
this is a spoiler
.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:20 AM   #6
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If I had included a spoiler, I would have used that. But it's more like the back of the book blurb. If it happens right at the start of the book and you know it within 5 minutes of reading it, it's not a spoiler.

It's like that movie, Marley and Me.

Spoiler:

The dog dies


is a spoiler. Owen Wilson buying the dog in the first place is not (since it's in the title and in the poster).
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:44 PM   #7
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A contemporary review:

Vanished Messenger (The) By E. Phillips Oppenheim. Little, Brown & Co. $1.30

Mr. Oppenheim again exhibits his skill in weaving an exciting plot, and again the background of his story is found in international complications of the great Powers of Europe. The “vanished messenger” is on his way from America, bearing a message from the great money kings of the United States which will surely prevent a threatened war by a coalition of the great Powers against England. He disappears on a stormy night on which he was expected to cross the Channel to the Continent. What became of him, how nearly he escaped death at the hands of a human monster who plots war and destruction for all the world, and how he was rescued in time to save the situation, make up a story which is not the less thrilling because it is totally improbable. Incidentally there is a love story, but it is of the slightest interest.” – The Outlook, August 15, 1914

Last edited by BelleZora; 10-11-2012 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:43 PM   #8
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Thank you for posting that!
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