Book Report: Puppet on a Chain by Alistair MacLean (1969)

I forget which book fair I bought this book at this year; I do remember thinking it was great to get a copy of a non-book club edition of Alistair MacLean’s work, but when the Book Fair Employee put this in the box, she tore the dustjacket almost completely. Swell.

I probably hadn’t read this book since high school. It’s centered around an Interpol narcotics investigator going to Amsterdam to sniff out a big, organized crime syndicate shipping heroin abroad. It’s interesting that it’s a commonplace crime handled as though it’s bigger than it is. Some of the response to the drug thing is over-the-top, but this was early in the war on drugs, before it became commonplace I suppose. The point of view is a little different from many MacLean books in that this is a storyteller first person. Unlike other first person points of view, where the I is supposed to play it straight, this storyteller withholds information and foreshadows later events to make a better story. I think it’s a good point of view, a bit of the double-effect narrator going on, and think I should try it again.

A good read, quick enough (a little over 2 nights for me) and probably readily available at book fairs or the link below if you’re interested.

Books mentioned in this review:

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