Most helpful positive review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Saint Saga Nº 15
on 8 July 2013
This is the book that put Leslie Charteris on the map and made best-sellers of all the previous Saint books in retrospect.
Set shortly after the repeal of Prohibition, this tale of revenge is one of the grimmest, and the certainly the most violent, of all the Saint stories, so that when it was filmed, it was considerably toned down (and all hint of corruption in the New York judiciary removed, of course).
Nevertheless, most Saint fans, including myself, seem to regard it as one of the best. To take just one example: as a synopsis of all the previous Saint books — vital, if new readers are to understand the story — the prologue (which takes the form of a letter to the NYPD from Simon's old adversary Chief Inspector Teal of Scotland Yard) is one of the most skillful things I've seen.
Charteris knew New York well, along with its denizens and their culture and language. The characters are drawn with great verve, especially Inspector John Fernack, the various members of the gangland hierarchy, and the mysterious Fay Edwards, who falls in love with Simon at the same time as she is helping him to kill just about everyone she knows.
Above all, Charteris shows himself once again a first-rate story-teller. Gripping from start to finish.
P.S. For a list of all Charteris's Saint books (in two sections, because of length limitations) see my Listmanias.