John Buchan: The Three Hostages

(1204 words)

The Three Hostages is Scottish writer John Buchan's one sustained attempt at writing a detective novel, in the new format that had achieved great popularity in the wake of the success of Agatha Christie. He also used this novel to re-address to a post-war generation his lifelong theme of the thinness of the barrier between civilisation and anarchy. The Three Hostages was also the first post-war Hannay novel, and although Buchan was publishing at least two books a year at this point in his career, often more, in fiction and non-fiction, he knew that his main audience wanted to read Hannay. It is instructive, therefore, to consider this novel as a statement of Buchan's views to an audience who were highly selective in t…

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Macdonald, Kate. "The Three Hostages". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 November 2008
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]