Click Here To Purchase The Four Just Men
Author: Edgar Wallace, read by Bill Homewood
Naxos AudioBooks
ISBN 13: 9781843794554 ISBN 10: 1843794551

When it debuted as a newspaper serial in 1905, The Four Just Men was an immediate sensation in England due in large part to author Edgar Wallace’s clever promotion campaign. Unfortunately, he created an ill-considered concept as Wallace offered prize money to readers able to guess the solution to the mystery—but he didn’t limit the number of winners. So many figured out the answer that Wallace went into debt and left his publisher holding the bag. Still, the novel launched his career, led to a series of sequels, and ultimately the book was updated into a film in 1939 and a lavish TV series remake in 1959.
Now 106 years old, The Four Just Men still commands critical respect, admittedly  more for witty style and plot innovation than literary substance. It’s the story of three vigilantes with one reluctant collaborator publicly threatening to kill a British Minister if he doesn’t remove his support for an immigration bill they oppose. Scotland Yard is justly worried—the “Four Just Men” are suspected of 16 previous successful assassinations around the globe. While the characters and motives are thinly sketched, the suspense is what the story is all about—how can these men be caught if no clues exist and how can they carry out the most
publicized murder of the century with Downing Street wall-to-wall with protective police protection?

Another mystery for modern readers might be—why purchase an audiobook adaptation of this thriller when free electronic versions of Four Just Men and its sequels are readily available on the net? The answer is reader Bill Homewood. An actor with considerable stage, screen, and voice-over experience,     Homewood uses a number of dialects and accents for the wide cast of characters with both British and European flavor. The different personalities of the “Four Just Men” are perhaps more distinctive in this audio version than on the printed page as Wallace provided little in the way of character description or back-story. Homewood not only gives the main protagonists individual presences, but the detectives, government officials, and other supporting characters come alive with dimensions more fleshed out than in the original dialogue.
At four hours and 31 minutes, the unabridged The Four Just Men is a quick read that should intrigue modern readers partly because of its resonance with current issues—the justifications of the vigilantes seem quite close to the claims of modern terrorists, blackmailing the British government if their aims are not met. Still, they are drawn as heroic figures able to outfox the best efforts of British law enforcement. The book is clever, intended as light-reading—but with new overtones and contexts never intended in the first years of the 20th Century. This audiobook is likely to gain both Edgar Wallace and Bill Homewood new fans, with hopefully more to come from the latter. Now, that would be just . . .
 Click Here To Purchase The Four Just Men