Tuesday 19 March 2019

Leslie Charteris: The Saint in Trouble (1978)

Edition: Coronet Books, 1978
Review number: 1516

Another compilation of stories which originally were TV episodes of Return of the Saint, The Saint in Trouble comprises The Imprudent Professor (by Terence Feely) and The Red Sabbath (by John Kruse), both adapted from the TV scripts by Graham Weaver.

In the first story, Simon Templar is asked to look out for the safety of Professor Maclett by his daughter, in the glamorous setting of Cannes. Maclett is the centre of a lot of attention, being of interest to both British and Russian spies, and the story is a hectic series of encounters between the various parties involved and the Saint. Even if only ranked against the other TV adaptations, The Imprudent Professor is not a high quality story. It seems to be Saint-by-numbers - a location which would have been exotic in 1978, beautiful women, Saintly tricks, and Simon sorting everything out in the end.

The Red Sabbath is better. It follows on directly from The Imprudent Professor, as Simon disembarks in London from the plane he took in Cannes at the end of the first story, and is accosted by men who take him to talk to an Israeli intelligence officer. This leads to Simon hunting an Arab terrorist through London, a task he invests in personally. It is perhaps more typical of other thrillers of the second half of the seventies than of the Saint oeuvre, though the nature of the story reminds the reader that Arab terrorists are not new in fiction post 9/11.

Averaging out my ratings for the two stories, I would give The Saint in Trouble a solid 5/10.

No comments: