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Passport To Peril

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  197 ratings  ·  33 reviews

Decades before RobertBrownParker began writing his books about Spenser, a man named RobertBogardusParker (1905-1955) penned this extraordinary novel of post-war intrigue.

From the corridors and compartments of the Orient Express to the shadowy, ruined streets of Budapest – which he saw firsthand as a foreign correspondent during World War II –
ebook, 256 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Hard Case Crime (first published July 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 539)
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Dan Schwent
John Stodder, an American reporter, goes to Hungary with a forged passport to look for his brother who disappeared after a bombing run in WWII. Only the passport Stodder received wasn't forged. It was that of a murdered man. And Stodder just happens to run into the murdered man's secretary on the Orient Express. In her possession is a mysterious Manila envelope that belonged to the dead man. Stodder's trip to Hungary to look for his brother goes way off course as both the Russians and the German ...more
Pretty good reprint title from the Hard Case Crime line. First off, the author is NOT the Robert B. Parker who writes the Boston P.I. Spenser series.

This author is Robert Bogardus Parker, Jr. who, as his daughter explains in the Afterword, was a newspaperman dying of a heart attack in 1955 at age 50.

PASSPORT TO PERIL starts off on the Orient Express and takes place in Budapest behind the Iron Curtain. The MacGuffin is a manilla envelope of names that everybody wants. Vivid setting, hardboiled c
Maybe 1.5 stars. I didn't completely suck, but it failed on most fronts. First, it's a cold war spy novel set in Europe, not what I expect from HCC. Second, it had far too many serendipitous actions. (view spoiler)

I never connected with any of the charac
With so many Hard Case Crime books in print now, I guess sooner or later I was bound to be disappointed by one. Which is not to say "Passport to Peril" is a bad book. On the contrary, it was enjoyable. It just doesn't stack up to the other books in the series that I've read.

This is another of Hard Case's "finds from the vault," so to speak, a spy thriller that has been out of print for more than 50 years. I'm glad HCC brought it back in print, and I honestly hope they'll bring Parker's other spy
Elijah Spector
If this book had been made into a movie, it would've been one of those not-quite-classic-but-still-really-fun Hitchcock movies. It might've starred Jimmy Stewart, but perhaps someone a little more rugged and bad-ass (although, Anthony Mann was able to make Stewart frighteningly bad-ass and rugged, but that's neither here nor there), and like the book it would've started on the Orient Express with a hero who slowly realizes that he has the passport of a recently murdered man. That's one hell of a ...more
Laaaame. Maybe Hard Case is cutting back because they can't find enough quality pulp. No shame in that, and better six books a year than this. Bleah. Scheming Nazi who says "ve have vays of making you talk." Instant love between hero and girl. Predictable plot twists. Sometimes a book deserves to stay forgotten.
Fast read involving post WWII espionage behind the iron curtain (so don't expect a standard hard case story here), but not without flaws, such as an abrupt and summarized ending that is woefully unsatisfying. In addition the first chapter didn't grab me straightaway but the bulk of the book kept me going.
After a gripping opening sentence…

It wasn’t until the Orient Express was nearing the Hungarian frontier, about two hours out of Vienna, that I found I was traveling on the passport of a murdered man.

…the book turned out to be a disappointment. The author (not the Robert B(rown) Parker, of the Spenser private eye novels, but Robert B(ogardus) Parker) was a news correspondent in the Eastern Bloc after WWII and does a nice job of creating an atmospheric post-war Budapest. But the much of the plot s
Passport to Peril by Robert B Parker is a fast paced and reasonably early Cold War thriller. Set about five years after the war in occupied Austria and Hungry, the hero outwits the Soviet Russians and underground Nazis in the hunt for a Manilla envelope. Although we know what -- lists of names and addresses -- is in the envelope, we never get to know what the contents really are or what they mean. But, that's OK. It's a McGuffin -- a prop simply to justify the chase. Passport to Peril is mostly ...more
This is a fine thriller of post-war intrigue, reputed to be one of the first Cold War thrillers. The story itself is well constructed, involving American John Stodder finding that the passport and Orient Express ticket he purchased under-the-table was from a murdered man, as revealed to him by the dead man’s secretary, a woman named Maria Torres. Stuck with the rotten identity, Stodder has to uncover the secret of why the man was murdered before the same fate befalls him. On the run behind the I ...more
John Stoddard is traveling from Vienna to Budapest just after WW II to see if he can locate his brother, a navigator in a plane that was forced down after it ran out of fuel, calculations for which John had been responsible. Unable to obtain a visa from the Russians, John pays for a forged passport and visa only to discover on the train that a young woman thinks he is someone else and he has the passport of a man wanted by several governments because of some information he has and who was killed ...more
Bruce Snell
I got this book because the author is Robert B. Parker, and since I had read everything that Parker had written (The Spenser series, Jesse Stone, and all the rest) I decided to read this one too. Turns out that this book was written by a completely different Robert B. Parker - Robert Bogardus Parker. In addition to this book Robert Bogardus Parker also wrote another spy story, Ticket to Oblivion, and then died young.

The story is set shortly after the end of WWII and John Stoddard is taking the O
Grady McCallie
It's not a very good thriller, but it is fast and straightforward, and I found it easy to 'watch' the book as a stylish black and white film inside my head as I read. The characters have no depth; the hero has some great language skills but is otherwise hapless. The plot has plenty of twists, but the author knows only one way to explain them, and that's by having the narrator do it directly - no slow reveals, no artful signals that you pick up only by paying attention. One aspect of the book doe ...more
Jeanette Scrimshaw
Thought this book was by the Robert B. Parker whose books I enjoy. Not so. Very disappointed. Book was silly. Plot,characters and actions all over the top and unbelieveable. Must be more careful in future when choosing books.
Sandra Kasturi
No, not THAT Robert B. Parker. This is a totally different guy. This is a Cold War espionage novel, and of its time. As such, it's sort of charming! Oh, those pesky Soviets! The Berlin Wall! It all seems sort of...quaint and charming now, given the climate of our own time. Which sounds kind of superior, doesn't it? Yes, WE'RE the generation that has it the worst. I'm rolling my eyes at myself, now.

But yeah...this book. A fun read!

march 2011
th is a "hard cse crime novel" in paperback.
On the jacket, it says
the original
Robert B. Parker.
there are two robert b parkers.
who knew.
this one lived 1905-1955.
it is set behind the iron curtain.
quite dated but, so far, i like it.
i recommend it for the noir book it is.
farfetched plot and premise of falling in love in 24 hours.

John Pringle
This classic post-WWII espionage thriller is a fun read. Has all the right ingredients and rips along at a breakneck pace. Shame the author didn’t write more than just three books. As it’s difficult to find information on this author, the afterword by the author’s daughter is a blessing. I hope Hard Case Crime also publishes Ticket to Oblivion.
This is sometimes an interesting period piece, and the author did have experience as a reporter who spent time in midst of post-WW2 divisions of spoils in Europe. But overall not one of my favorite Hard Case titles. Perhaps I should have given it 2.49 stars, or maybe 2.51.
Great title and a dated cold war thriller with a WWII vet looking for his brother, another former soldier, in Hungary thrown in amongst Russians, Nazi sympathizers, mysterious countesses, gypsies and U.S. spies fighting over a manila envelope.
Gary Sedivy
Thot this was written by R. B. Parker (Spenser novels), but it appears it was by his father, who had been a WWII correspondent. Not a great read; reminded me of G. Greene's "The Third Man", being a post-WWII recovery period.
"Decades before Robert Brown Parker began writing his books about Spenser, a man named Robert Bogardus Parker (1905-1955) penned this" rather dated cold war spy yarn, Hard Case Crime #57.
Robert Marsh
I've loved just about every Hard Case Crime novel I've read. This is no exception. Great pulpy cold war spy story. Nazis! Soviets! Intrigue! Peril! Definitely an excellent time.
I am in the club and read these as soon as they come out. All of the are worthwhile, this one was better than most if I remember correctly.
A. P.
The cover is much better than the novel itself. Directionless and boring for which I'm truly sorry since I was very much looking forward to it.
A very zippy spy thriller that I still don't entirely understand the point of but managed to enjoy anyway.
ok, Robert B Parker III (spencer) father is author of this interesting post WWII crime novel.
This book by not that Robert B. Parker is full of rich pulpy goodness.
DeAnna Knippling
The *other* Robert B. Parker. Just not all that and a bag of chips.
A good read from a man who spent time in Europe during WWII.
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Robert Bogardus Parker, (1905-1955) not to be confused with Robert B. Parker (1932-2010). A lifelong newspaper man, the elder Parker reported from behind enemy lines during World War II, bringing home news from Germany, Poland, Russia, Turkey, and Japan. He was also an agent for the OSS—the precursor to the CIA—and had a hand in freeing Jewish prisoners in Europe and carrying out communications ac ...more
More about Robert B. Parker...
Ticket To Oblivion

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