Times Literary Supplement (review date 22 March 1928)
SOURCE: A review of They Return at Evening. Times Literary Supplement 1364 (22 March 1928): 223.
[In the following review, Wakefield's first collection of ghost stories, They Return at Evening, is favorably reviewed.]
Mr. Wakefield in this collection of ghost stories [They Return at Evening] provides a pleasing variety in the activities of his spectral characters. In “The Third Coach,” for instance, he permits an anticipatory revelation of a railway accident to prove invaluable in a rogue who is able to make use of his knowledge to secure the removal of an ungrateful hussy who seeks to blackmail her former partner in crime for the benefit of a consumptive but respectable lover. Two baronets play parts consonant] with the worst traditions, in fiction, of their order. The one is driven to despair by the post-mortem vindictiveness of the wife he has had every excuse for murdering; the other falls a victim to the ghost-dog of a malignant gypsy poacher in a fashion reminiscent of a horrible German story of the Middle Ages. “The Red Lodge” is a gruesome little story, but the best of Mr. Wakefield's collection are four dealing with the vegeance of a murdered Japanese poet upon his would-be supplapter; the means adopted by an adaptable barrister for punishing the vain and otherwise ‘destestable’ wizard who has struck down his friend by a horrible enchantment; the curious events which led to the abandonment of an East Coast golf club which had been rash in its selection of a site of a new seventeenth hole; and, strangest and weirdest of all, the story about the haunted chess-players. Mr. Wakefield does not strain after effect he produces his results by means of a studied moderation in style.