FEAR IS THE KEY by Alistair MacLean


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MacLean has established himself as a master in the area of high adventure, but has probably deliberately- avoided letting himself be pigeonholed for any specific region, type of suspense, period. This story fulfills the demands for sustained crisis, as Talbot tells a story of revenge and retribution. A prelude gives the clue; the balance of the tale traces the steps by which Talbot- under various aliases- plays out the part of a ruthless murderer, a hi-jacker, a desperado, and only in the last third does his true identity emerge, and then with some shadowy and sometimes confusing duality. A cargo plane with precious freight is shot down; a succession of crooks uses intricate means to blackmail a high principled character into cooperation; Talbot performs a series of miraculous escapes; a number of violent deaths punctuate each phase of the story -- and in the end the goal is reached but one is left with a sense of anticlimax. Perhaps the matter is of less importance than the manner. But it is good entertainment- little more.

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1961
ISBN: 000728926X
Publisher: Doubleday