Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Book Review: The Thirty-Nine Steps

I'd never really heard about this book before, but when loading my Kindle for holiday reading back in the summer, it came highly recommended by my brother-in-law. It was free, and so on it went, in the off-chance it would get read. I'm glad I did - for the rip-roaring tale is quite the adventure.

Set in the period just before World War One, the story is narrated by Richard Hannay, a man who has returned from service in South Africa and is seeking some adventure. In this case, what he wishes for comes true, with a bigger adventure than he would have expected. From his flat, where a mysterious visitor is murdered, the chase is on as Hannay flees from the law, discovering that he is in over his head in a fast-paced and funny spy thriller. London, to the Scottish lowlands, and back to the south coast of England, the action continues with mad-cap escapes, disguises, twists and life on the run.

Some of the language is a bit archaic, and the story can be at times a little overly inventive, but on the whole, it's a good tale well told, as the fugitive turned tramp Hannay tries to convince the Cabinet to strike and capture the German spies at high tide where the thirty-nine steps lead from the clifftop to the sea. Well worth loading onto your Kindlefor free!

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