Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The Golden Gate

This is an Alistair MacLean I've had sat on my shelf for quite a long while, without me realising that besides being one I had, it was also one I hadn't read.  There's a lot of others with similar titles (The Golden Rendezvous, The Golden Keel...) and Goodbye California is also set in California.  Anyway, I realised I hadn't read it and decided it might be a good idea to do so, rather than having it sat there gathering dust.

It's a good one.  In fact, it's one of his better ones, made all the better because I didn't know where the story was going.  Not quite as many twists, perhaps, but fast-paced and your standard Alistair MacLean character.  Undercover police officer, doesn't really care much about following orders, smart, tough...  You get the picture :)  Also the usual falling in love with somewhat hapless woman.  Actually, the hapless woman in this case did have a bit more of a personality than normal.  It sounds like I didn't like it that much, reading it over, but I did.  It was definitely a good set up.

A determined thief has kidnapped the president of America and two oil barons.  They were in a presidential coach (I want one of those!  They sound really awesome!), with two other coaches on the route too.  When they pulled onto the Golden Gate bridge, the thief struck.  Actually, the villain in this piece was pretty interesting.  Had a thing about not killing people, wasn't just a villain, more of a brainy thief who found having a real job too boring to bother with it.  The American government has to pay up, three hundred million dollars for the president and the oil barons, two hundred million more for the bridge.  And to keep himself safe afterwards, he demands a presidential pardon.  Looks like he's got it all figured out (and if you want to know quite how the security was breached, it's really rather interesting).  Unfortunately, in amongst the journalists who he's kept on the bridge in order to tell the world what he's up to, there's an FBI agent, who's determined to see the bridge remains intact and the money in Fort Knox.

I really rather enjoyed it.  I still think Fear is the Key is his best (what a twist!) but it's definitely one of the great ones.  Well worth keeping an eye out for.

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