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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See 1 question about The Black Shrike…. It was then that I heard the singing. Consciously or unconsciously, it seems to me MacLean is paying homage to the master of snappy, thriller prose. Buy the selected items together This item: Although today, this plot would seem cliche and overdone, back when the book was first released, it was a brand new idea.

But otherwise, this is a tedious time waster. A classic tale of espionage, secret missions and exotic locations which out-Bonds Bond, from the acclaimed master of action and suspense. Bentall and a female Secret Service agent, Marie Hopeman, have the task of discovering the fate of the missing boffins.

Alistair MacLean fans, thriller fans. daark

: The Dark Crusader (): Alistair MacLean: Books

As with all Alistair MacLean books, this is a very good read. Raine, “a small dusty man in a small dusty room,” had recently given Bentall a particularly nasty asssignment. I remember hunting through piles of books in charity shops to find the paperbacks I was missing, and petitioning my mum for the change to buy them with.


Sydn Eight job advertisements. In fact one cannot help suspecting that MacLean was deliberately distancing himself from the style of the Bond novels. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Witherspoon has made discoveries here that will revolutionise the field of archaeology but there are much stranger things on this island than ancient artifacts. To view it, click here. John Bentall, who has just returned from intelligence work in the Middle East, is told he is to go straight to Heathrow from where he will fly to Australia with his “wife” and look into the disap 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.

This, like many other MacLean novels would make a great screenplay. It was an engaging read and I enjoyed it despite it’s cliches, which I sure Alistair Maclean revelled in.

Books by Alistair MacLean. 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. It had been a while since I’d read MacLean, so I’d forgotten that he takes a while to set up the characters and the situation.

The Dark Crusader

Notify me of new posts via email. Bentall will soon find out exactly why a scientist like himself with expertise in solid fuel rocket technology was chosen for this mission. He is also, at times, quite humorous, such as when he describes Marie as having an “hour-and-a-half-glass figure,” and when, after describing the brutish, hulking Hewell, he adds “He would have had a terrible time making the romantic lead in a musical comedy”!


He is now recognized as one of the outstanding popular writers of the 20th century, the author of 29 worldwide bestsellers, many of which have been filmed. This writers material is a little dated mostly because he uses some technical details in his stories that are obviously from a few years ago and are no longer current.

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Mass Market Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign daro. Yeah if I read tbe again I would probably hate it, the characters couldn’t possibly stand up to sensibilities, but for a 13 year old back in the early 70’s it was a great escape. Another classic spy drama from master thriller writer Alistair MacLean. To ask other readers questions about The Black Shrikeplease sign up.

Eight scientists – and their wives – disappear. And then there is drama, twists, and treason. Given her background it is quite understandable but what intelligence operation would use someone with that sort of fear? But these are minor gripes: