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Tony Grist

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The Powerhouse: John Buchan [May. 3rd, 2015|01:56 pm]
Tony Grist
This, I think, was Buchan's first thriller- written before The 39 Steps but not published until after that book's success. It introduces Edward Leithen- the lawyer and Tory MP who was to feature in four more books- including Buchan's last.

It's Ur-Buchan. A bunch of stalwart chaps, including, refreshingly, a pugilistic Labour MP - go up against an international criminal organisation headed by a recluse in tinted specs.  There's a great cat and mouse chase across central London. You think you're safe walking through Green Park in broad daylight? Think again.

Buchan is snappy and economical, a stylist- capable of doing a great deal with very few words. Conan Doyle lies behind him, Hammett and Fleming are waiting up ahead. This is a very short book- barely more than a novella. And lots of fun.