Renn was known to acquaintances- and most of his friends- as a novelist of rather abstruse, highbrow appeal; actually, this...

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BEFORE THE CROSSING

Renn was known to acquaintances- and most of his friends- as a novelist of rather abstruse, highbrow appeal; actually, this occupation cloaked his work as a sort of counter-espionage agent. This is his story, a story of a rather starved and twisted and insecure soul, seeking a kind of sadistic satisfaction in his work, and caught up, now and again, in the emotional undertones. One such experience resulted from the ""catch"" in the net he spread to reach a solution regarding the violent death of his ""friend"", the ubiquitous and always gay Henry Smith. He was working on an official assignment at the same time, and oddly the two investigations seem to overlap, to bring into focus first one, then another, involved in two hunts. There is the poisonous Swan, and his pilot; there is Swan's wife, a nymphomaniac, whose starved marriage persuades her to seek satisfaction anywhere it is offered, there is one of her lovers, ""T.S."", and his wife, the rich and powerful Evelyn; there are the Fords, almost innocently involved in the international implications; and there are the Costers, particularly Arnold, who at eighteen is made a tool of Georgina Swan's passions. It is a queer, introverted book, dealing with a group of insecure, abnormal people, in an abnormal world on verge of war.

Pub Date: April 15, 1947

ISBN: 1417985429

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1947