17 MAY 1884, Page 25

The Last Call. By Richard Dowling. (Tinsley Brothers).— Mr. Dowling

is given to making his readers breakfast, lunch, dine, and sup on horrors, and his latest novel adheres to the lines of its predecessors. But there is scarcely one of the many life-and-death straggles with which these three volumes are filled that is not only preposterously long drawn out, but utterly purposeless besides. There is a tremendous fight between Eugene O'Donnell, who passes for the hero of the story, and Lavirotte, a mad, or at least "cracked," Frenchman, who is as much of a villain as The Last Call can boast, but it ends in neither being killed. A ruined banker shuts himself up in the strong-room of his bank, with intent to commit suicide, and he goes through some very ghastly experiences, and yet he kills neither himself nor anybody else. Then there is a prolonged "revolver " scene between the banker and Lavirotte, which in one sense ends, and in another does not end, in smoke. Finally, there are some melodramatic episodes in, or beneath, London, which are preposterous ; as for the ludicrous closing act, the less said about it the better. No portrait in The Last Call is calculated to remain in the memory ; and it cannot be said to contain any Irish character or racial humour. Altogether, we should say that this is the poorest novel Mr. Dowling has produced, and we hope he will not condescend to produce a poorer.