Walter Hartright, a drawing instructor falls in love with Laura, but she is betrothed to someone else, and he must therefore leave Limmeridge. Before he goes, he tells Marian about his encounter with a beautiful woman dressed entirely in white, whom he later discovers escaped from an insane asylum. Here the mystery begins: Who is the woman in white? And is she truly insane?
A new tenseness seemed to have crept into the situation. The conversation, never without its emotional tendencies, at once changed its character. Philippa, cold and reserved, with a threat lurking all the time in her tone and manner, became its guiding spirit.
In this 1915 story--possibly the first modern spy novel--Buchan's perennial protagonist, Richard Hannay, averts the assassination of a world leader. Hanney, an expatriated Scot, returns from a long stay in South Africa to his flat in London. One night he is buttonholed by an American who appears to know of an anarchist plot to destabilise Europe, and claims to be in fear for his life. Hannay...