The Saint Closes the Case by Leslie Charteris and John Telfer (narrator)
|The Saint Closes the Case by Leslie Charteris and John Telfer (narrator)|
|Category: Crime (Historical)|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Erase the cosy memories you have of Roger Moore playing the debonair Saint: this is the original dating from the nineteen thirties. A rollicking good tale and thought provoking.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192/7hours 33m||Date: December 2014|
|External links: Author's website|
On the way back to London with Patricia Holm late one night, Simon Templar saw a strange pulsing light and couldn't resist going to investigate. What he discovered was a demonstration of a weapon which could well bring the world to war a mere twelve years after the end of the Great War. Templar and his confederates concluded that the weapon could not be allowed to come into the public domain - and if necessary the inventor (who could easily recreate the weapon even if he gave assurances to the contrary) would need to be, er, sidelined. Unfortunately Templar and friends are not the only ones in search of the weapon: his old nemesis, Rayt Marius, has his own plans.
Recently I've been listening to the Paul Temple mysteries by Francis Durbridge on BBC Radio 4. It's part nostalgia - I remember listening to them as a child more than half a century ago - and part preference. That's because they're good, old-fashioned (in the best sense of the words) stories which rely on action, detection and tight plotting, with no fantasy elements, werewolves or any hint of the paranormal. I also remember watching the 'Simon Templar as The Saint' television series as a child but with a degree of disappointment. You see, I used to haunt the library and I'd read the books: I knew that the antics of the debonair Roger Moore bore not too much resemblance to the original stories.
You see, the Simon Templar of the original books is an altogether more complex character. He's on the wrong side of the law but dispenses justice in his own inimitable way, is brilliantly skilled with his knife (she's called Anna) and more than adept with a gun. He'd have you believe that he's a man of action rather than a deep thinker, but that's a little disingenuous. He's quick to realise the implications of the weapon which he's just seen demonstrated and given that the book was first published in 1930 Leslie Charteris is remarkably prescient about what would happen in the World War which would start in nine years' time. I was stunned by a discussion about the question of the reward which should be given to a man who develops a weapon of mass destruction: is he entitled to riches and honours? Is he obliged to give it to his own country, no matter what the reward or can it go to the highest bidder?
Charteris too would have you believe that the story is simply a rollicking tale, but he understates the depth of the plot. The characters are excellent and John Telfer brings Templar off the page with brilliance - his quiet air of menace strikes terror even when the words are sweet - and Patricia Holm is an excellent foil for the Saint. The action is well paced and it would be all too easy to listen to the full seven and a half hours in one sitting: I was tempted!
If you like your thrillers to be equipped with all the latest gadgets and if the fact that various agencies will be closed because it's Sunday makes you snigger then this might not be the book for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy a good, old-fashioned thriller then you could be in for a treat. I'd like to thanks Audible for providing me with a download.
For another book which has stood the test of time we can recommend Above Suspicion by Helen MacInnes.
You could get a free audio download of The Saint Closes the Case by Leslie Charteris and John Telfer (narrator) with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Saint Closes the Case by Leslie Charteris and John Telfer (narrator) at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Saint Closes the Case by Leslie Charteris and John Telfer (narrator) at Amazon.com.
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