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Thriller Review – Fear to Tread

Fear to Tread by Michael Gilbert

Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)

British writer Michael Gilbert passed away at 93 in February, 2006. He wrote a couple dozen mysteries and many radio and TV scripts. He was a full-time solicitor (in the UK, an attorney who advises clients on legal matters and prepares cases for barristers to present in the higher courts). But he wrote during his train commute to and from his London office. Writing about two-and-a-half pages a day, he was able to finish a novel in five or six months. Gilbert’s writing is tight and focused.

In the 1953 thriller Fear to Tread, he relates the story of a school headmaster who turns detective, plausibly putting a bookish guy into menacing circumstances. Readers are taken into the dangerous worlds of public schools and the black market, which was a going concern in the UK after WWII. The characterization is persuasive, and the action rocks, so much so that this is more an adventure novel than a mystery.






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