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Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Mr Standfast by John Buchan

Mr Standfast

Thriller / Suspense   Action Adventure / Spy   Historical Fiction   eBook Favourites   
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Bringing his firsthand knowledge of trench warfare and government subterfuge into play, John Buchan has created a cracking, classic thriller. Set during the First World War it illuminates brilliantly the experience of war both on the battle front and on the home front through the eyes of the chief protagonist Richard Hannay also featured of course in probably his best known work The Thirty-Nine Steps. Mr Standfast provides a search for meaning in loss; loss through death on the battle field and although its heroes are fictional the book is peopled with real examples for during the war Buchan was to lose numerous friends and associates and as a consequence the loss feels all the more real as you are driven through the narrative at speed.

From the Introduction by Hew Strachan in Mr Standfast:

'Mr Standfast reflects the big issues of its day, but it is a spy story (and, it has to be said, a rather less successful love story), written by a master of the genre. It is to be enjoyed as such.
But the big questions of its day deepen and enrich the text, giving it an emotional weight alongside its undoubted pace and masterful narrative.'

Win Books from the Manon Bradshaw Thriller Series!

Persons Unknown, the second book in Susie Steiner's crime thriller series, is now out in paperback and to mark the publication we are giving away paperback copies of both Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown to THREE lucky winners!

To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 30 April 2018. The winners will be notified by 14 May 2018,

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 30/04/2018


Mr Standfast by John Buchan

Recalled from active service on the Western Front, Richard Hannay is sent undercover on a crucial secret mission to find a dangerous German agent at large in Britain. Disguised as a pacifist, Hannay travels from London to Glasgow to the Scottish Highlands and Islands in his search, which eventually ends in a spectacular climax above the battlefields of Europe. John Buchan's inside knowledge of trench warfare and government intelligence lend a formidable realism to this superlative spy story. This is a nail-biting classic from a master storyteller.


'Between Kipling and Fleming stands John Buchan, the father of the modern spy thriller'

About the Author

John Buchan

John Buchan led a truly extraordinary life: he was a diplomat, soldier, barrister, journalist, historian, politician, publisher, poet and novelist. He was born in Perth in 1875, the eldest son of a Free Church of Scotland minister, and educated at Hutcheson’s Grammar School in Glasgow. He graduated from Glasgow University then took a scholarship to Brasenose College, Oxford. During his time there – ‘spent peacefully in an enclave like a monastery’ – he wrote two historical novels.

In 1901 he became a barrister of the Middle Temple and a private secretary to the High Commissioner for South Africa. In 1907 he married Susan Charlotte Grosvenor; they had three sons and a daughter. After spells as a war correspondent, Lloyd George’s Director of Information and a Conservative MP, Buchan – now Sir John Buchan, Baron Tweedsmuir of Elsfield - moved to Canada in 1935 where he had been appointed Governor-General.

Despite poor health throughout his life, Buchan’s literary output was remarkable – thirty novels, over sixty non-fiction books, including biographies of Sir Walter Scott and Oliver Cromwell, and seven collections of short stories. In 1928 he won the prestigious James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Britain’s oldest literary prize for his biography of the Marquis of Montrose. Buchan’s distinctive thrillers – ‘shockers’ as he called them – were characterised by suspenseful atmosphere, conspiracy theories and romantic heroes, notably Richard Hannay (based on the real-life military spy William Ironside) and Sir Edward Leithen. Buchan was a favourite writer of Alfred Hitchcock, whose screen adaptation of The Thirty-Nine Steps was phenomenally successful.

John Buchan served as Governor-General of Canada until his death in 1940, the year his autobiography Memory Hold-the-door was published. His last novel Sick Heart River was published posthumously in 1941.

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Book Info

Publication date

29th June 2010


John Buchan

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Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General


304 pages


Thriller / Suspense
Action Adventure / Spy
Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites

Anthologies (non-poetry)



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