The Three Hostages by John Buchan is the fourth instalment in the Richard Hannay Stories, and deals with his adventures after World War 1.
Set seven years after The Thirty-Nine Steps, it pits Hannay against a charismatic rising star of the political firmament, Dominick Medina.
The three hostages of the title are the victims of an international conspiracy, with Medina at its centre, to hypnotise members of the families of important public figures and then manipulate them for criminal ends.
In this story he is joined by some familiar faces, notably his feisty wife Mary, and the Scottish laird, adventurer and master of disguise, Sandy Arbuthnot. When Hannay is first asked to help find the hostages, the only clue as to their whereabouts lies in some cryptic lines of verse which the malefactors have left dangling tantalisingly in front of their pursuers. Hannay is forced to wrestle with obscure classical and literary references in order to track them down and the recollection of an equally arcane Latin quotation overheard by Sandy finally leads to Medina.
To get to this end Hannay has to allow himself to seemingly become taken over by Medina, as he tries to use his mind bending tricks to gain control of his subjects.
A very enjoyable book and certainly as good as the first three, though probably not as well known. This was book 33 week 23 fiction 31 (9 on audio) non fiction 2
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