It is well written even though the plot, as outlined above, is a monstrous load of rubbish. It is very much of its time in that it plays to all the prejudices of the Empire-loving Brit: it is racist and anti-Jewish. Working people are good eggs when they are in their place and Hannay's wife is a strong character without whom he could not have freed all the hostages. But the plot, and there is no getting away from the plot in what is, after all, meant to be a thriller, has no tension in it, is almost completely black and white, and revolves around the most audacious set of circumstances.
September 2015; 255 pages
Books by John Buchan reviewed in this blog:
- My very favourite: a historical novel set in Scotland which proved that Buchan really could write: Witch Wood
- Weird plot, terribly un-PC but with some wonderful characters, a laugh aloud speech, and a real feel for the joys of hunting: John Macnab
- Well written but with the most ridiculously bonkers plot and some horrible classism, racism and anti-semitism: The Three Hostages
- A wonderful description of the Scottish countryside and some fantastic characters and some brilliant counterpointing: Huntingtower
- Greenmantle: another bonkers plot with weak characters set during the First World War