Friday, 25 October 2013

The Bat Review

Review By Patrick Challis

Written By Mary Roberts Rinehart

Published By Open Road Integrated Media

Crime, Thriller


A supervillain stalks the countryside, and it will take a spinster to bring him to heel

For months, the city has lived in fear of the Bat. A master criminal hindered by neither scruple nor fear, he has stolen over one million dollars and left at least six men dead. The police are helpless, the newspapers know nothing—even the key figures of the city’s underworld have no clue as to the identity of the Bat. He is a living embodiment of death itself, and he is coming to the countryside.

There, he will encounter the only person who can stop him: adventurous sixty-five-year-old spinster Cornelia Van Gorder. Last in a long line of New York society royalty, Cornelia has found old age to be a bore, and is hungry for a bit of adventure. She’s going to find it—in a lonely old country house where every shadow could be the Bat. 


Often called the American Agatha Christie, Mary Roberts Rinehart is a renowned mystery writer known for her twists and turns.

This classic tale is a novel based on a play 'The Bat' that was in turn based on another story called 'The Circular Staircase'.  To add another entry on to that list, it was also turned in to a movie as well in 1959 starring Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead.

The story here is most definitely a classic mystery in the Agatha Christie vein but there are a lot of twists and turns thrown in for the mystery fans amongst us.  I was surprised to see that it had actually been written in 1920 because the easy going flow of the writing style made it feel like a modern day mystery written in a historical setting.  There are some cracking and massively quotable lines through out the story.

I have to be honest, I wanted to read this book as a big fan of the old black and white movie and in that aspect it didn't disappoint.  However there were a couple of moments that just felt a bit groan worthy.  For example the inconvenient power outages to confuse the characters through out the mystery even more.  It just felt like it was tacked on.

I did prefer the movie version yet the pace of this book may have been gentler than today's thrillers but the story itself really flows in the sort of way that makes you just want to read just one more page.  The revelation of who the murderer was isn't the most shocking but somehow fits the novel really well.

If you're in to the Agatha Christie mysteries then this one will definitely be right up your street.

Story 8/10
Characters 7/10
Recommended  7/10
Overall 22/30

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