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The Red Lamp

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Red Lamp.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Mary Roberts Rinehart(Author)

    Book details


William Porter has just inherited Twin Hollows, an isolated lakeside estate shrouded in mystery and doom. But William and his wife aren't easily swayed by ghost stories and whispered rumors. Until a shadowy apparition beckons to them from the undying glow of a red lamp. Is a stranger with a deadly purpose trying to frighten them away? Or are they being haunted by a chilling warning from the grave? Reissue.

3.2 (9956)
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Book details

  • PDF | Unknown pages
  • Mary Roberts Rinehart(Author)
  • Zebra (March 1, 1987)
  • English
  • 5
  • Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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Review Text

  • By Patto on July 9, 2010

    This is a completely charming mystery about an absent-minded professor who longs for more excitement in his life - and lives to regret he ever had such a wish.Who'd have dreamed that the professor would end up in a hotbed of sinister happenings by spending the summer on the lovely waterfront property he just inherited from his Uncle Horace? Or that he'd become the number-one suspect for a host of appalling crimes?In the once placid neighborhood of Oakville, sheep are found with their throats cut, ghosts are everywhere, and an oddly random assortment of people turn up dead. The professor's wife is not surprised. She's inherited "the second sight" from her Scotch ancestors and in fact predicted a terrible outcome from going anywhere near Uncle Horace's haunted house.The professor, who addresses us via his journal, never ceases to be amusing, even in his darkest hours. After all, he's a man who, when he can't sleep, instead of counting sheep repeats over and over, "Milton and Dryden and Pope."To provide a change of pace from ghosts, messages from the spirit world, dead sheep and murder, there's a quirky love story between the professor's niece and a heroic young man who can't afford to marry her.Meanwhile, the ever-thickening mystery will have your head spinning (at least it did mine). The title comes from the red lamp found lit in the library with Uncle Horace's corpse.Published in 1925, this book was written in an era when educated people were hosting séances, and the Society for Psychical Research was in full swing, seeking scientific proof of life after death.I absolutely loved The Red Lamp. It's thoroughly American (people run around the countryside armed with pistols and shotguns), yet has the air of an English country house mystery.

  • By toofasteddie on April 14, 2011

    I love this old novel. I read it first more than 50 years ago, and still pick it up now & then to enjoy again Rinehart's writing style and the way she brings that spooky old estate so vividly into my mind. I'll be vague in my plot description, so as to not spoil a good story:Professor William Porter, his wife, his niece and the niece's boyfriend summer at the lonely bayside estate left to him by his uncle, who was found there dead one morning under suspicious circumstances. The story line involves a series of murders and ritualistic sheep slayings, which seem to be related to the lighting of a certain red lamp at the estate, a lamp that had an unsavory reputation among the superstitious local residents. In spite of the murders, the tone of the novel is generally light and humorous with a spooky undercurrent of bumps in the night, strange shadows, cold eddying drafts, a sighting of the deceased uncle reflected in a window, and other creepy phenomena. Nothing, however, that is indisputably a ghost.Nothing, that is, until the end, which climaxes with a series of three seances. It is at the end of the third seance that the murder mystery is finally solved, and the unexplainable appears while Porter fumbles for the light switch to bring the seance to an end. As he states, "in the instance between me finding the switch and turning it on, that I will swear that I saw once more by the glow of the red lamp the figure at the foot of the stairs, looking up. Saw it and recognized it. Watched it turn toward me with fixed and staring eyes, felt the cold wind which suddenly eddied around me, and frantically turning on the light, saw it fade like smoke into the empty air..." As it turned out, it was "a figure which could not possibly be there. But was there."So who done it? I'll give you one hint: It wasn't a ghost. Wanna know more? Read the story. Its well worth the time.

  • By Ray Ann-Haigh on January 30, 2004

    I was very surprised to see the only other review for this novel state that it is among the author's worst books. Just goes to show how differently a work of art can hit different people!The Red Lamp is definitely that...a work of art. I've read all of Mary Roberts Rinehart's mysteries, but it is this one - The Red Lamp - that I most frequently pull off the shelf for a fourth or fifth reading.This book is a little creepier than many of the other Rinehart mysteries; it has a subtle undercurrent of the supernatural running through it. The characters are very vivid (especially that of the narrator) and the book manages to make a number of philosophical observations that remain profoundly relevant today.As to the plot, the mystery itself is top-notch, and the killer's motivation one of the most unusual and disturbing I have seen in any "golden age" mystery. This book's overall style reminds my very much of that extremely popular ghost novel of the early 1940s: "The Uninvited" by Dorothy Macardle.To compare the style and plot devices of The Red Lamp to more modern works, I would say it is also similar in structure and tone to those supernatural mysteries written by Barbara Michaels from the 1960s - 1990s (which still remain popular today).I'll close this review with a bit of trivia. While The Red Lamp does not depend on a supernatural killer, it does end with some of its inexplicable events purposely left unexplained. Upon reading the author's autobiography, I learned that she had some genuinely weird experiences, in a summer home she briefly occupied, and these became a partial inspiration for The Red Lamp.

  • By FRANCOIS on June 30, 2003

    I'm usually a great fan of Mary R. Rinehart, but this book is bad, and disappointing. It's hard to read from the first chapter, there seems to be non link between following phrases. Is it because, for once, the narrator is a man instead of a girl ? I gave up after twenty pages! Very far below her bests, "The swimming pool" and "The great mistake" or the "yellow room".


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