Friday, 29 January 2010

Leslie Charteris: The Saint in Pursuit (1970)

Edition: Coronet, 1989
Review number: 1395

Many of the later Saint stories are adaptations of episodes from the TV series (both The Saint with Roger Moore and Return of the Saint with Ian Ogilvy), but The Saint in Pursuit is I think unique in that it originated as a comic strip printed in American newspapers.

The story is a fairly standard Nazi Gold caper set in the late fifties (when the strip first appeared). A young woman, whose father was in the US Army and disappeared towards the end of the war, receives a letter from a lawyer sending her to Lisbon. This alerts US military intelligence, which still has some questions it wants to have answered about her father's disappearance. He worked as an investigator, and he may have disappeared because of this work, which involved tracing large sums of money - and they want to know why. They in turn contact Simon Templar, who did some work for them during the war (as detailed in the Saint novels from The Saint in Miami to The Saint on Guard). The Saint is hardly going to turn down this treasure hunt assignment...

Without stretching the format, or even giving Charteris any need to think very hard, this is an enjoyable Saint book, and one which delights the collector in me, as its acquisition leaves me with just three to complete the set. My rating - 8/10.

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