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Fear to Tread by Michael Gilbert
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Fear to Tread

by Michael Gilbert

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British writer Michael Gilbert passed away at 93 in February, 2006. He wrote a couple dozen mysteries and scripted many radio and TV programs. Gilbert was a full-time solicitor (in the UK, an attorney who advises clients on legal matters, represents clients in certain lower courts, and prepares cases for barristers to present in the higher courts). But he wrote during his train commute to and from his London office. Writing about two-and-a-half pages a day, he was able to finish a novel in five or six months. Gilbert’s writing is tight and focused.

In “Fear to Tread€? (1953), Gilbert writes of a school headmaster who turns detective. He effectively puts a bookish guy leading an ordinary life into menacing circumstances. Readers are taken into the dangerous worlds of public schools and the black market, which was a going concern in the UK after WWII. The characterization is persuasive, and the action rocks, so much so that this is more an adventure novel than a mystery.
  Kung_BaiRen | Mar 24, 2006 |
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The story of how Mr. Weatherall, the headmaster of a school, but otherwise an ordinary man, was introduced to a huge nationwide black market operation. It seems that anything goes so as to ensure profits and the continuance of the fraud in what amounts to crime on a vast and organised scale. Moreover, was the victim run over by a train before, or after, he died? And can Mr. Weatherall succeed in getting to the heart of the matter in a one man battle against such odds?… (more)

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