13 JUNE 1908, Page 23

The Death Man. By Benjamin Swift. (Chapman and Hall. 6s.)—This

is a melancholy romance in which the principal figure is the public executioner, while his stepson is the hero. It is difficult for the ordinary person to look at life from the point of view of an executioner, but since such functionaries must exist, it may be interesting to know what is the effect of this grim profession on the standpoint of its practitioners. The Death Man answers this question, and does so in an extremely gloomy manner, forcing the reader to the conclusion that it would be better could the executioner remain anonymous. Let us hope that in real life the post is not so terrible a bar to happiness as in "Benjamin Swift's" novel. The book contains plenty of exciting incidents, though, naturally, it does not conduce to exhilaration.