The Blurb: Eight advertisements. Eight jobs. 8 specialists in modern technology required. Applicants to be married, with no children, and prepared to travel. Highly persuasive salaries. 8 positions filled. All 8 scientists – and their wives – disappear. Completely. Advertisement no.9 – Fuel specialist required. Looks like a job for John Bentall ……
I should probably start with a disclaimer here. I am a big fan of his works ! I read my first MacLean, Puppets on a chain, around 5 years ago and since then I have been a devoted fan. I actually find myself smiling when I read lines like ‘the room he entered was invested in a cathedral silence’ in his novels.
So coming to The Dark Crusader, it is a typical MacLean page-turner with adventure,espionage, conspiracies, etc. etc. I can’t reveal the details without giving away the plot so let me just stick to what I liked. This book is filled with many plot twists, more so than the others. Let me just say that the ending you have in your mind as you read will not come true. I was definitely surprised upon reading the last few chapters.
I found the character of Bentall extremely likable. He is not just this suave spy, mouthing one-liners and drinking martinis (ahem!). He is very much human, makes mistakes and owns up to them, gets angry and even falls in love.
If you are an Alistair MacLean fan, you will enjoy this as much as I did.
Having written so much about my love for MacLean, let me also mention my top 3 favourites so far
1. Where Eagles Dare
2. Breakheart Pass
3. Fear is the key
The 3 I would like to read – Guns of Navarone, HMS Ulysses and Ice Station Zebra