I was recently persuaded to re-read The Moonstone by a whole bunch of people on Twitter. They were participating in a read-a-long hosted by Lit Nerd and I kept wanting to join in! So I picked up my old and very battered copy (it no longer has a front or back cover!) on a cold November evening.
The Moonstone is the first real detective novel ever written, and indeed you can see elements of this story in many detective mysteries since; twists, red herrings, cliff hangers and seemingly impossible, unexplainable events. The writing is captivating, with a plot that digs deeper and deeper into mystery.
The story is told by a number of narrators; the endearing Gabriel Betteredge being my personal favourite. With his earnest, talkative manner, it’s hard to dislike him. Although rather sexist, he is a caring grandad figure and his descriptions bring a human touch to the story. Through him we get to know the main characters, and learn to care for them, as he does. One quirk that I particularly love about him is his strange devotion to his old copy of Robinson Crusoe, something which all booklovers will appreciate!
The mystery revolves around the Moonstone which has been left to Rachel Verinder by her late uncle. It is given to her on her eighteenth birthday and goes missing after only a few hours. The Moonstone seems to bring bad luck to all who are associated with it, and in that few hours, its evil has already began its work. Everyone’s lives turn upside down – some characters won’t even make it to the end of the book alive.
In desperation, a renowned detective from London is called for. The chapters that follow are some of my favourites in the book. Sergeant Cuff brings some humour to the pages, especially when arguing with the gardener about the proper way to grow roses, a passion of his. He brings the story forward at a nice pace with his observations and helps the reader (and Betteredge) to feel the detective fever. I only wish there were more of him in the book!
Soon the mystery travels from Betteredge’s trusty hands to London, where the irritating but hilarious Miss Clack briefly takes over the storytelling. After this, the writing becomes less laugh-out-loud and much more business like. I was very glad towards the end of the book, when we return to the country, with Betteredge awaiting us with a copy of Robinson Crusoe on his lap, eager to take on the mystery and solve it once and for all!
When the mystery is finally solved, it is gloriously far fetched and proved with absurd ‘scientific’ experiments – in my mind a perfect ending!
Settle down with your own copy of The Moonstone on a gloomy winters night – click on the picture below!
7 thoughts on “The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins”
[…] intrigue surrounding the diamond adds an interesting mystery, reminding me fondly of The Moonstone. However it’s the writing, rather than the various plot lines, that drew me into this […]
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[…] 4. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins […]
I actually started reading that some time ago; I was at a concert at a university and they had a table of free books. The Moonstone was one of them. sadly I left off as I was distracted by Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, but I’ll pick it back up soon. 🙂
I’ve never heard of the Wheel of Time series. It must be good if it distracted you away from Wilkie! 🙂 Hope you enjoy The Moonstone when you pick it up again!
Book Review Request
“Psychological thrillers aren’t usually my thing, but I have to say this was well done. The author has a few fun and thought-provoking twists on the terror genre that, if not completely unique, are still rarely seen…. While it starts dark and tragic, there truly is a happy ending. There is no gratuitous sex or violence. What little you’ll find is tasteful and actually relevant to the plot.”
Richard A. Peters–Goodreads
New Psychological Thriller Explores Relationships Between Main Characters
Terror at Mirror Lake
If you think Hannibal Lecter was evil, wait until you meet Luke Downing, a killer so evil he makes Lecter look like an altar boy.
Terror lurks in the shadows of Mirror Lake, where secrets of sex, lies, and death are all patiently waiting to surface from its murky depths. The small town of Hamptonville seems the last place you would find sadistic sex, drugs, blackmail, and murder. But that’s exactly what Bruce Orum, his girlfriend Cindy Garvey, and two married couples encounter when they meet Luke Downing, a psychopath who takes pleasure by inflicting pain on his victims. At Mirror Lake Downing takes the two married couples prisoner and plans to torture and humiliate them before killing them. But he does not know that Sheriff Jeff Parker and his partner Molly Hutchison are on his trail and determined to stop him. From page one all the way to the breathtaking ending, you will find yourself on pins and needles waiting to see what happens next.
Terror at Mirror Lake is more than just another psychological thriller. In its pages the author describes the causes of Luke Downing’s evil nature, his relationships with others, and the relationships between the two married couples he plans to torment and kill.
Readers may download this exciting new novel by author Hank Kellner at AMAZON and at the SMASHWPRDS website, http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/309191
About the Author: Hank Kellner is a retired associate professor of English. He is the author of 125 Photos for English Composition Classes (J. Weston Walch, 1978), How to Be a Better Photographer (J. Weston Walch, 1980), Write What You See (Prufrock Press, 2010), and, with Elizabeth Guy Reflect and Write: 300 Poems and Photographs to Inspire Writing Prufrock Press, 2013). His other writings and photographs have appeared in hundreds of publications nationwide.