23 JUNE 1894, Page 25

Wreckers and Methodists. By H. D. Lowry. (Heinemann.)— This is

emphatically a very "strong" book, though scarcely a pleasant one. Its character is very fairly indicated by its title. Its scene is laid in the region with which the author of "John Herring" has made the reading public filmiliar, and where we per- petually come across names like " Tallywarn " and "Chewallock," and passions Of more than Celtic strength seem to hold sway. Mr. Lowry sets himself to realise and reproduce the life led in such a region—its special sins, superstitions, loves, hates, and humours—by means of short stories. Sometimes, indeed, Mr. Lowry gives the impression of positively straining after lurid effects, as in "Judgments," in which is told the story of the awful death of a local preacher, who is evidently the father of a child that had been murdered by its mother. In other stories, however, such as " Friday Night" and "The Scarlet Petticoat "—which latter tells of an outbreak of natural girlishness in a pretty Puritan—Mr. Lowry contrives to be at once effective and natural. In one of the best of this collection also—" The Informer "—in which we have a new version of the old story that murder will out, the pathos overcomes the horror. Altogether, this is a book of no mean per- formance and of quite notable promise.