BOOK REVIEW: Captivating. This story was originally written as a play, and perhaps because of that has a succinctness that I found very enjoyable. At only 134 pages (PDF) it’s packed with old-style heroes and villains, international travel, romance, deception and intrigue. I’d read that Wilkie Collins ‘suspense novels’ are considered the precursor to modern day mystery and detective novels, and having read this my first Collins title, wholeheartedly agree. I also really appreciate the strength and ingenuity that Dickens and Collins wrote into their female characters – they were ahead of their time in that regard I believe also. A thoroughly enjoyable read!