ALISTAIR MACLEAN WHEN EIGHT BELLS TOLL PDF

Scenery, thoughts, and physical sensations are described with colorful, unhurried prose. This provides a nice contrast to the sudden violence that materializes whenever his protagonists seem to be making headway against the forces of evil. One of the fairly small number of stories he wrote from a first-person perspective, When Eight Bells Toll is a typically solid MacLean yarn. Plot keypoints Ships bearing valuable cargo — along with their crews — have been disappearing in Scottish waters.

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Scenery, thoughts, and physical sensations are described with colorful, unhurried prose. This provides a nice contrast to the sudden violence that materializes whenever his protagonists seem to be making headway against the forces of evil. One of the fairly small number of stories he wrote from a first-person perspective, When Eight Bells Toll is a typically solid MacLean yarn. Plot keypoints Ships bearing valuable cargo — along with their crews — have been disappearing in Scottish waters.

As the story begins, British agents assigned to shepherd one of these ships turn up dead. Can their colleagues, former marine salvage man Philip Calvert and his partner Hunslett, succeed where others have failed? His affection for boats and Scotland makes this story feel like a labor of love. Peppered heavily with unforeseen actions and plot twists, the book is a genuine hard-to-put-down page-turner. Readers are kept well in the dark regarding the sympathies and motives of some of the main characters, increasing the aura of suspense.

Weaknesses Stories that unfold almost entirely in boats are just not my favorite. The reader is expected to know a lot of nautical jargon and to keep straight the connections, depths, navigation hazards, etc. A first-person narrative has pluses and minuses. For instance: "So I poured him another whisky, a large one, and told him what had happened, what I knew and as much of what I thought I knew as seemed advisable to tell him.

Some of what actually transpired during those skipped parts is revealed in the how-we-solved-the-mystery monologue near the end.

That monologue extends for seven or eight pages

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Alistair MacLean

Plot Synopsis[ edit ] Five cargo ships have been hijacked in the Irish Sea ; ships carrying vast quantities of precious stones and gold bullion. The crews later turn up, but the ships have disappeared. Clearly, the hijackers are getting impeccable intelligence. When no word is received from the agents, Phillip Calvert who narrates the story and Hunslett are sent to investigate. Under cover of being marine biologists on a UNESCO project, they travel in the Firecrest, an outwardly normal but very specially equipped motor launch. Calvert boards the ship under cover of night and finds that the two agents planted aboard have been murdered.

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