FORGOTTEN BOOKS: ROGUE MALE!
Often discussed as the link between John Buchan (The 39 steps) style adventures and the japes of James Bond, Rouge Male by Geoffrey Household is a rip roaring tale of a man for whom principle has more meaning than patriotism. Like Eric Ambler, Household moved beyond the simplistic good versus evil and marched the thriller squarely into the gray areas where LeCarre and others would make their future stomping grounds.
The narrator takes it upon himself to stalk - in the manner of a big game hunt - a human prey, a man guarded by the best in the land, a man with a vested interest in keeping himself out of the sights of any assassin. With the dictator in his sights our hero is apprehended and tortured almost to the point of death. Left to fall from a cliff to an apparently accidentally death he cheats fate by landing in a bog.
Here begins his flight to freedom. But what kind of freedom? Even back in his native England he is hunted down by the agents of the dictator - forced to become an outlaw now wanted for actual murder after he finishes off one of his foreign pursuers in the bowels of the London Underground.
Benson's BOND - UK hardcovers
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