Sunday, July 28, 2013


After a mile of winding and a thousand feet of elevation, the final curve gave out onto a bowl the size of a deserted stadium.  It was part natural, part blasted, hanging there in the belly of giant peaks.  The back walls of the bowl were sheer rock faces.  There were semi-circular holes blasted into them at intervals.  They looked like giant mouse holes.  Some of them had been built out with waste rock, to provide sheltered entrances.  Two of the entrances had been enlarged into giant stone sheds, roofed with timber.

NOTE:  Initially, Die Trying’s plot seems insanely extravagant, but eventually the cynicism about most human character that undergirds it makes the whole of the work actually seem as naturalistic as Gilbert White’s writings on Selborne.  Combining elements of John Buchan’s chase, war and crime novels, especially, The Dancing Floor, Mr Standfast and The Power House, Lee Child achieves something quite original here.  It is art and therefore a lot happier in the end than today’s (and yesterday’s and tomorrow’s) newspaper headlines, which are just creepy.

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