FP now includes eBooks in its collection. Thriller, the fourth in the Richard Hannay series.
THE THREE HOSTAGES
The war is over and Hannay is trying to relax in the country when he is approached about three possibly related kidnappings. Several comrades of past adventures are also involved. Limit the size to characters. However, note that many search engines truncate at a much shorter size, about characters. Your suggestion will be processed as soon as possible.
In , Buchan wrote Prester John, the first of his adventure novels set in South Africa, and the following year he suffered from duodenal ulcers, a condition that later afflicted one of his fictional characters. At the same time, Buchan ventured into the political arena, and was adopted as Unionist candidate in March for the Borders seat of Peebles and Selkirk; he supported free trade, women's suffrage, national insurance, and curtailing the powers of the House of Lords, though he did also oppose the welfare reforms of the Liberal Party, and what he considered to be the "class hatred" fostered by demagogic Liberals such as David Lloyd George.
He continued to write fiction, and in published his most famous work, The Thirty-Nine Steps, a spy-thriller set just prior to World War I. The novel featured Buchan's oft used hero, Richard Hannay, whose character was based on Edmund Ironside, a friend of Buchan from his days in South Africa. A sequel, Greenmantle, came the following year. Recognised for his abilities, Buchan was appointed as the Director of Information in , under Lord Beaverbrook—which Buchan said was "the toughest job I ever took on"—and also assisted Charles Masterman in publishing a monthly magazine that detailed the history of the war, the first edition appearing in February and later published in 24 volumes as Nelson's History of the War.
It was difficult, given his close connections to many of Britain's military leaders, for Buchan to be critical of the British Army's conduct during the conflict.
John Buchan’s The Three Hostages
Following the close of the war, Buchan turned his attention to writing on historical subjects, along with his usual thrillers and novels. Available Formats. Hannay had previously appeared in The Thirty Nine Steps , his most famous adventure in which he battles German spies across England and Scotland, and two books about his activities during the First World War , Greenmantle and Mr Standfast After the War, Hannay is married to Mary and living peacefully in the Cotswolds , when he receives a request to help solve the mysterious kidnapping of the children of three prominent people.
Given nothing to go on but a few mysterious clues, Hannay, assisted by friends like Sandy Arbuthnot , must track down the dastardly villains behind the plot before it's too late It is some time after the war , and Sir Richard Hannay is living in rural tranquility, having bought Fosse Manor and married Mary Lamington both featured in Mr Standfast ; they have a small son, named Peter John. Hannay's new friend, local doctor Tom Greenslade, a well-travelled and learned man, talks ominously one night of psychology , the subconscious , thrillers and post-war society. Later, Dick reads a letter from his old boss Sir Walter Bullivant , warning him that he will soon be asked to undertake another job for the country.
Next day, Julius Victor visits Hannay and tells him his daughter Adela has been kidnapped and held hostage , asking Hannay to help find her. Later that day, MacGillivray visits and tells Hannay of a sinister criminal organisation, controlling the mass of disturbed and disordered minds left over from the Great War, and tracked by the police forces of the world.
Faced with capture, the leaders had taken three hostages, Victor's daughter, an aristocratic student and a young boy, sending each of their families a mysterious poem to prove the kidnappings were linked. He also explains that they have only until June to round up the gang, and that the hostages must be safe by then.
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Hannay is adamant that he cannot help, but his third visitor that day, Sir Arthur Warcliff, tells him about his missing son, and Hannay is drawn into the chase. That night, he lies awake pondering the lines of doggerel sent to the families, and connects them to something Greenslade had said recently. Next day he tells Greenslade all, and bids him remember where he drew his phrases, two of which, concerning a blind woman spinning and a barn in Norway, matched verses from the poem, while the third in Greenslade's speech referred to a curiosity shop run by an elderly Jew , which seems to bear no correspondence to the poem's reference to the "Fields of Eden ".
John Buchan’s The Three Hostages – Kate Macdonald
Greenslade is baffled, but Hannay recalls a hymn mentioning the Fields of Eden, which Greenslade connects with his vague memories. Another day's pondering gets them no closer, until Hannay breaks his pipe. Suddenly Greenslade remembers an evening in a country pub, where a man named Medina had broken his pipe as he hummed the tune, and at the same meeting mentioned the ideas echoed in the poem. Hannay heads to London to meet Macgillivray, and briefly runs into his old friend Sandy Arbuthnot.
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Macgillivray briefs him on their enemies, and soon after Hannay meets with Medina, a handsome and accomplished man who Hannay finds he likes a lot, but doesn't yet take into his confidence. He sees Sandy again, who is suspicious of Medina, and the three attend a meeting of an elite dining club, where something Medina says affects Sandy extremely — he becomes rude and angry, and tries to drag Hannay away, but Hannay refuses and walks home with Medina.
They stop at Medina's house for a pipe, and there Hannay has a strange dreamlike experience of which he remembers little, only later realising that Medina attempted to hypnotise him and that he somehow resisted.
He wakes next day feeling ill, and visits a Doctor Newhover, whose name was planted in his head and who refers him on to a masseuse named Madame Breda, in whose house he also sees a strange young girl. He is again hypnotised, by unseen hands and a strange voice, and again resists. He later reports his experiences to Sandy, who urges him to watch Medina closely and makes plans to investigate the house of the masseuse, and then to take his researches to Europe.
For some time Hannay hangs around Medina, one day attending a secret dance-hall with his friend Archie Roylance, where he sees a beautiful girl with dead eyes led away by Medina's suspicious butler, but learns little. He visits Newhover again, and learns that he plans to head to Norway. At last, visiting Medina, he is taken to the library where he was first hypnotised, and introduced to Medina's mother, a striking, frightening, blind old woman. He is again hypnotised, and made to do demeaning tasks, until they are sure he is under their control. He hears of Medina's plans to meet with one Kharama, and learns the gang plans to break up by midsummer , before he faints from exhaustion.
Hannay arranges with his friend Archie Roylance to be flown home from Norway when the time comes, and is taken to meet Kharama, an impressive but sinister Indian who discusses hypnotism with Medina. Later, he gets a note from Sandy, arranging a meeting. Telling Medina he is ill and needs a week's rest, he fixes a rendezvous with Roylance and heads home to Fosse, where he sets up a pretence of being in his sickbed.
He meets Sandy and they share what they have found, and then slips onto the boat taking Dr Newhover to Norway. Arriving there, he sees Newhover head off by boat, and follows at a discreet distance. Knowing Newhover's heading, he leaves his boat at the village before, bidding the pilot to await his return, and heads overland to Merdal.
There, not wishing to be seen at the inn by Newhover, he approaches some locals to find lodging, and is amazed to meet Herr Gaudian, a German engineer he met during the events of Greenmantle. Gaudian reveals he knows Newhover, in truth a former German agent, and agrees to help Hannay.
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The man falls into a stream, and Hannay rescues him, and recognises Lord Mercot, one of the hostages. They feed and bathe him, and hear his broken story of hypnotised abduction, but then must persuade him to return to his captors, until such time as the other hostages can be found, promising Gaudian will be keeping an eye.