Those Four Just Men from the original 1905 publication have been up and down in their membership throughout the series, there were just two of them in “The Law Of The Four Just Men” story collection. They now seem to have settled down to three with the most underwritten of the trio, Poiccart, coming out of retirement for this and, I assume, the last of the titles that make up the Wordsworth “Complete Four Just Men”, seeing as the title of this is “Again The Three.”
In this 1924 work we get plenty of dead bodies, some through mysterious snake bites which provides the show-piece puzzle of the novel. There’s abductions, disguise, a shady Swedish doctor and his even more amoral German henchman, doping and a finale of a siege. Wallace once again ups the pace as the novel progresses, as far as I am concerned it started well then really began to drop to a point where I didn’t know (nor really care) exactly what was going on, but as in the previous novels he drew me back in for the last third and all the mysteries were eventually explained.
I’d felt his female characters were not terribly successful in this book’s predecessors but here we have two quite vibrant women, one trustworthy, one less so. I’m getting to the point with just one novel in the series to go that I’m looking forward to getting through it and moving on with my reading but looking back when I finished this one I had enjoyed it more than I thought I would when I was ploughing through the mid-section.
The Three Just Men was originally published in 1924. I read the edition in the Wordsworth paperback “Complete Four Just Men Collection”