MAN RUNNING by Elliot West


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A first novel, written with detachment and ease, this seems tailor-made for a chase film and reasonably enough the movie rights have already been acquired. Ben Dana, 46, a journalist whose ideals, including a marriage, were behind him, came to Madrid from Biarritz to make one last try for a job -- with a wire service. He is, at first, turned down by the organization men and desperate for money and supposedly without a shred of belief in anything, he is an easy mark for Igor Steck's proposition. Steck, a German general, who fled to Spain when France was liberated, offers Dana a third of the loot he left in Paris in exchange for Dana's passport. Soledad, whom Steck had been keeping, gives her passport to Dana to insure Steck's return. When he inevitably fails to keep his bargain, Soledad and Dana, who are in many ways kindred spirits, bound to each other by necessity, slip across the border after Steck. Meanwhile, Herr Steck, a thorough-going confidence man, unable to locate his treasure, is reluctant to leave Paris until he has completed the embezzlement of a wealthy frivolous widow. Through the black market Dana discovers his prey, they struggle in a dark street, Steck is killed, and Dana, having met and overcome a tangible adversary at last, returns to Soledad and the promise of a new life.

Pub Date: July 15th, 1959
Publisher: Little, Brown