Friday 27 June 2014

Where Eagles Dare - Alistair Maclean

Title: Where Eagles Dare
Author: Alistair Maclean
Genre: Thriller
Published: 1967
Formats: Hardback/Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

As part of the 2014 Eclectic Reader Challenge I was required to read a novel which fell under the category of War. I decided to go for a classic war thriller and picked up “Where Eagles Dare” by Alistair Maclean which is a story I knew about due to the late 1960’s movie of the same name. However, beyond a vague memory of a cable car featuring quite prominently I couldn’t really remember that much about the plot.

In regards to the plot of the story, it is set over the winter of 1943/1944 and starts with the news that an important American general is being held hostage at a secure mountain top facility in the Alps. This general is purported to be an important organiser of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Europe. Therefore, the Allies quickly assemble a team who must infiltrate this formidable fortress and rescue the general before he can put the entire invasion plan at risk. However, the team soon discovers that all is not what it appears to be with secrets, conspiracy and espionage all combining to create a thrilling adventure.

This was quite simply a great adventure story with various twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end. Whilst the plot starts a little slowly it soon becomes an incredibly intense action packed ride that makes sure you are sitting on the edge of your seat for the majority of the novel. I found Maclean’s combination of twisting plotline and entertaining action sequences worked wonderfully well and kept me hooked. Of course there are some elements of the plot which did require some suspension of disbelief but it didn’t affect the overall viability of the story in any substantial way.

The characters themselves were also interesting enough with their various secrets and nuances combining to make them distinct and identifiable as individuals. There was enough development involved between the elements of action and suspense that I could understand on some level why the various characters, both protagonist and antagonists were acting in the way although at times I will admit that their differences and motivations could feel a little bit typecast.

Overall this is a thoroughly enjoyable World War II thriller that is full of action and suspense. The characters are all interesting enough to appeal on some level to the reader but don’t expect to see anything in them that you haven’t seen before in some form or the other. Basically if you enjoy action packed thrillers full of twists and turns action then I don’t think you would be disappointed by this novel.


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