Oh, Dear, Forester's such a hero of mine. he writes like an angel in the old fashioned style where there are no expletives and the writer doesn't exist. As these publishers are quick to point out, he wrote the Hornblower series - the wonderful four-master, top-gallant books about a cabin boy who rose to become Lord of the seas. Incidentally, Forester was the writer who inspired Roald Dahl. Take that as a compliment or how you will. Oh, yes, Forester can write. He chats along easily and takes the reader with him, an old-fashioned John Grisham, if you will, both of them complete masters of the narrative and fun to read. The trick is to keep the story on the rails.
The Peacemaker - the research is breathtaking - is about a scientist who hold London to ransom. But he's no ordinary scientist and this is no ordinary story. He's a mild mannered math teacher in love with his principal's daughter. Two problems - no, three. One, Pethwick, that's his name, is a genius who's found a way to disempower magnets. Two, the object of his affections - the headmasters daughter Dorothy - is a pacifist, with the result that Pethwick becomes a pacifist too. And three, poor old Pethwick is married - to a drunken sod of a woman with more tricks up her skirt than a conjurer. The result is that Pethwick, to prove himself worthy of the woman he loves who has taken to the hills as a result of one of the wife's more heinous tricks - pretending she's pregnant - becomes what he thinks is a pacifist, too. That's why he holds London to ransom.
And that's where the thing goes off the rails. Quite clearly, as a writer Forester shares the same quirk of character that Dahl has. But where as Dahl's weirdness is as attractive as a magnet that's properly functioning to kids, Forester in the Peacemaker strains credulity just a little too far. He skids over the science and leaves the reader unconvinced that this could happen. So there you have it. Beautiful writer, beautiful story that unfortunately goes awry. The thing lost the magnetism that should have held it together - that is , the rather delightful and convincing love story - and consequently its attraction for the reader. Making it an " Oh dear" story instead of a 'wow".