Wednesday, 12 January 2000

Leslie Charteris: Getaway (1932)

Alternative title: The Saint's Getaway
Edition: Hodder & Stoughton, 1939
Review number: 418

Having more seriously annoyed Scotland Yard than usual (in The Holy Terror), Simon Templar has resolved to be good. He is doing this on holiday with his friend Monty Hayward and partner Patricia Holm in Austria when his good intentions have to be laid aside on seeing a man set on by four others. This snowballs into a large-scale adventure, as the Saint and his old enemy Crown Prince Rudolph chase each other across Europe to gain possession of some priceless jewels, both sides also arousing the interest of the police.

Getaway is probably the longest Saint book, but that does not make it the most interesting. It is rather more predictable than most of the novels from this period, and lacks something of Charteris' usual sparkle. It is a more conventional thriller, rather reminiscent of Dornford Yates (though Simon Templar is more interesting as a hero than Yates' upper class Englishmen).

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