A classic tale of espionage, secret missions and exotic locations which out-Bonds Bond, from the acclaimed master of action and job advertisem. Alistair MacLean’s seventh novel, The Dark Crusader (inexplicably and incongruously renamed The Black Shrike in the US) appeared in The Dark Crusader by Alistair MacLean (). This is a cracking thriller, but with a significantly different tone from the earlier books. It seems.

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Only Bentall could have missed it.

The Dark Crusader – Wikipedia

Inat the age of eighteen, he joined the Royal Navy; two and a half years spent aboard a cruiser were to give him the frusader for HMS Ulysseshis first novel, the outstanding documentary novel on the fark at sea. English Choose a language for shopping. It is Bentall as a complete human being that elevates The Black Shrike above other novels in the genre.

Government agent John Deakin poses as a wanted criminal in order to foil a gang smuggling guns to Injuns in the Rockies and planning to steal government gold in return. This is a cracking thriller, but with a significantly different tone from the earlier books.

Their immediate fate, after they are spirited aboard a disreputable schooner captained by an even more disreputable Australian, may strike the reader as being a bit far-fetched. Eight top-level scientists and their wives disappear after responding to newspaper advertisements for specialists in different areas of modern technology, maclen when a ninth advertisement appears, Agent John Bentall is recalled to London from a mission in Turkey.

Bentall, our narrator, turns out to be an extremely likable guide, both ordinary and self-deprecating no tbe criticizes him more than himself for the many gaffes and blunders that he makes during the course crusacer the affair yet at the same time relentless, ruthless and remarkably intelligent. The novel offers has two endings, one in which Bentall must choose between saving Hopeman and preventing the theft of the missile, and the other in which he finally unravels the last details of the plot with his boss.


Some of these items ship sooner than the others. It’s a typical Alistair MacLean thriller. Please try again later. Trivia Yhe The Black Shrike.

Return to Book Page. Both of them feature a spy with Bond-like powers, only without the massive ego The difference between the two self-deprecating spies is that this one shows honest emotion.

At the very beginning the two agents are kidnapped from their hotel in Suva and tje in the hold of a tramp steamer where we learn that Marie is terrified of rats to the point of paranoia. Nobody shot me because there was nobody there to shoot me, and there was nobody there to shoot me cruzader no one but a very special type of moron would have ventured out on that deck without an absolutely compelling reason. Gann would have been much closer to competition he had to worry about.

One of my favorite authors. If you have not read him before, this is a good one to introduce you to him. This was first published in and is typical of the period, although it’s different in that it’s not so strongly West vs East and the setting is in the South Pacific.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here You are commenting using your Facebook account. Jul 19, E. He started out thf a rocket fuels scientist but has been co-opted mac,ean search out subversives in that industry.

If you’re looking for a “happily ever after,” stay away from this one. The most interesting part was crusadee Attack Doberman and the hero’s subsequent descriptions of the excruciating agony of the wound on alishair arm–because that was the only part of this story that made any logical sense.

Eight scientists to fill tbe. I actually purchased this in error and thoroughly enjoyed it as I have not read Alistair McLean since A lot of plot and character weaknesses but a fast moving story. Nov 28, Robert Grant rated it it was ok. Thus, Bentall and sexy agent Marie Hopeman, posing as his wife, respond to thr latest advertisement, are kidnapped while in Fiji, and ultimately find themselves on the lonely fictitious island of Vardu, only to become embroiled in a labyrinthine plot involving impersonation and the purloining of the British Navy’s experimental superweapon: Maclean really has no clue about women and they seem to always be doe eyed innocents that slap the main character, put him down at every turn but lo and behold-they are madly in love with him.


Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. Took around four home, and found this one to be fhe favourite. And if John Bentall shares the same initials as the more famous Ian Fleming secret agent, it would seem a mere coincidence; this agent is not nearly as smooth an operator, although, as events prove, just as ruthless. He wrote brilliant, churningly, wrenching stories – ripping good yarns, almost always; but every now and then one of them would tear your heart out.

This book made me wonder if Maclean ever met a real live woman in his life.

The Dark Crusader by Alistair MacLean (1961)

The two and a half years he spent aboard a wartime cruiser were to give him the background for HMS Ulysses, his remarkably successful first novel, published in In fact as a thriller writer he was quite bold.

One person found this helpful. I became darj aware that Anderson and the red-faced man, whom he addressed as Farley, were talking together and then the vagueness vanished. Okay, so this isn’t great literature. Bentall has a scientific background, but is an operative of the British Secret SErvice.

The Dark Crusader

Open Preview See a Problem? After a while, advertisement for a ninth position appears, and Bentall is volunteered by the agency for the position, under the obvious conclusion that one of the the scientists has befallen a tragedy.

Consciously or unconsciously, it seems to me MacLean is paying homage to the master of snappy, thriller prose.

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