The Ringer Author:Edgar Wallace THE RINGER, considered by many Wallace 'fans' to be the best of his thrillers, tells of a killer known by this name, whose exploits had terrified London - such a master of disguise that the police had never been able to circulate a description of him. Mixed up with the Ringer was a tricky lawyer of Deptford, Maurice Meister. Now young Detective-... more »Inspector Alan Wembury is taking over the Deptford police division, and is hoping to marry Mary Lenley, who has recently become Meister's secretary. News comes that The Ringer, who had been traced to Australia and was reported dead, is back in London. Meister will be his next victim, for he left his sister in Meister's charge and her body was found in the Thames. Soon a gaunt stranger is shadowing the frightened lawyer, who seeks police protection. Wembury is involved in an affair of extreme difficulty, complicated by the fact that Mary's brother, ruined by association with criminals, is jailed for robbery - and Meister knows more of this than he will admit. Moreover, the unpopular, bearded Inspector Bliss, just returned from America, is working along his own lines to solve the problem. Who is The Ringer? It will be a clever reader who can spot him before the very end of the story.
Originally published as The Gaunt Stranger, the book was renamed The Ringer when it was staged by Sir Gerald du Maurier. The play was a milestone in Edgar Wallace's career, enabling him to realise his ambition to become a successful popular dramatist, and to add one more to the many roles in which he had figured from boyhood - newspaper seller, ship's cook, milk roundsman, soldier-poet and reporter in South Africa during the Boer War, special correspondent of the London Daily Mail, editor, and writer of fabulous output. His income at one time reached ?50,000 a year, yet his reckless expenditure and open-handed generosity often left him short of ready money. He was exploring the possibilities of a film-contract when he died suddenly at Hollywood in 1932.« less