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Title: The Bat - Mary Roberts Rinehart
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Rank:Posting Wizard

Status: Developing Pub RPG
Posts: 3733
From: Germany

(Date Posted:03/05/2011 04:14)
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Book Title: The Bat

Author: Mary Roberts Rinehart

Series (if part of one): not as far as I know

Year of first publishing (if known): 1920

Binding/Availability: free e-book at Feedbooks

ISBN Number: none, as I have it as an e-book

Genre (fiction, non-fiction, etc.): fiction

Sub-Genre: Crime & Mystery

Where/How did you come to find this book? I browsed the public domain books at Feedbooks

Is this an author you read frequently? No

Is this a genre you read frequently? Yes

Short Synopsis:
The Bat (not to be confused with Bat Wing, which is by another author entirely) is a classical crime story with a lot of action and a scary villain. The books starts out by giving reference to the Bat, a criminal who has been going on a crime spree in New York and seems impossible to catch. It presents us with the thoughts and feelings of the police, the criminal world and the journalists towards him (none of them positive in any way). Then, though, the story shifts to the countryside where a wealthy (you could possibly also say rich) spinster has decided to spent the summer in a house she has leased for herself, her niece and the staff. But then things start moving, from anonymous threads to murder, while various parties are looking for a hidden room within the house and a hidden fortune (stolen by the previous owner) in this hidden room.

I can really recommend this book to other crime fans. I never encountered the author before, but found her story gripping and interesting to read.

The story is constructed extremely well and the author has a real talent for creating the right atmosphere and makes you 'see' the places and people described.

While the story was slowly reaching its peak, I found myself unable to put the book down. There's a lot happening, people are working on cross-purposes throughout the story, there's a lot of twists and quite some comic relieve (usually delivered by the spinster's maid who is easily scared and believes in the supernatural, unlike her employer). The books keeps you on your toes and that's a good thing in a crime story.

I can't really say I disliked anything in the book. I had almost expected (given the time it was first published) to find a lot of 'weak' females in the book, but found them being quite the opposite. Both the old woman and her niece are mostly strong characters (even though the niece is quite troubled during the story and faints at one point) and contribute quite a lot to the story and the final solution of it.

I will definitely pick up another e-book by Mary Roberts Rinehart at some point, but currently my e-book-reader is quite swamped with other literature I should finish, so it might take a while.

The Bat definitely is an interesting read for everyone who likes a good crime story and likes them set in the past (which was, of course, the present when the book was written). It's so much more difficult without the CSI and modern technology... I award the novel solid five out of five pints, because it's a very good novel and I really enjoyed myself while reading it.



Man who make mistake in elevator wrong on many levels.
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Rank:Gold Member

From: USA

RE:The Bat - Mary Roberts Rinehart
(Date Posted:04/27/2011 21:13)

Excellent review, bOO. I agree with your rating of five pints. I've been hooked on pre-1920 mysteries for the last few years and have read most of Rinehart's books.

There is one correction I'd like to mention. The Bat was co-authored by Avery Hopwood. As a result it differs from Rinehart's other works in content but not quality. Rinehart's usual style is less sensational. To see the difference you can compare The Bat to The Circular Staircase which was written earlier by Rinehart alone. Staircase has a similar plot, location and characters but no "Bat".

There are two movie versions of The Bat at the Internet Archive. One silent version which follows the book fairly well but has some comic elements (ala Keystone Kops) which spoiled the dark, creepy atmosphere. The other film was made and set in 1959. It combined The Bat and The Circular Staircase and starred Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead. For those who lived through the 50's it is a glimpse of the past - Edsels, bubble skirts, sweet little hats, white gloves, etc. There are no jeans, sneakers or tees anywhere. LOL.

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