3 DECEMBER 1904, Page 39

The Bridge of Life. By Dorothea Gerard. (Methuen and Co.

6s.)—Miss Gerard's new novel depends for its credibility on one. of those convenient poisons, fortunately more common in fiction than in life, which leave no possible trace in the bodies of their victims. Once grant the possibility of Dr. Lament's "bridge of life," and the idea of the story is ingenious enough. This idea is the taking of life for humanitarian reasons by a doctor who has let the hope of the prevention of hereditary disease over- power his sense of the binding nature of the law, Thou shalt not kill. The gradual decrease of Dr. Lamont's scruples is well_ brought out, and we s :e him, from using his power to ease the sufferings of a woman dying from cancer, advance to putting out of the way any patient about the soundness of whose family history he is not satisfied ; for the peculiarity of the Eastern poison he employs is that the poisoner can regulate the period at which the drug is to act, and kill his victims two or throe months after its administration. It is difficult to take a story of this kind. quite seriously, but it may at any rate act as a danger-signal to those excellent persons who are fond of saying that doctors, should be allowed what they term "a discretion" in cases of absolutely hopeless illness.