Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Three Hostages” as Want to Read:
The Three Hostages
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview
Read Book* *Different edition

The Three Hostages (Richard Hannay #4)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  507 ratings  ·  42 reviews
(A Peacock Book)
Mass Market Paperback
Published 1963 by Penguin Books Ltd. (first published January 1st 1924)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Three Hostages, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Three Hostages

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,016)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
The 4th Hannay novel; this one isn't as relentlessly fast paced as its predecessors. There are several chapters with a domesticated post-war Hannay steadfastly refusing to be drawn into a new caper but 'methinks the lady doth protest too much' and he's soon drawn in. It bothers me a bit that Hannay and wife join in only because the third hostage is a little boy like their own son; thy're oddly callous about the plight of the a young man and woman in the hands of what is described as a most dasta ...more
This is the fourth book in the series and my favorite so far. 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.
Rog Harrison
I feel a bit mean only giving this two stars as the author is a good writer but on this occasion the plot was so unbelievable and the coincidences too many for me to go with the flow. There were also several racist comments which grated on me though to be fair this book was originally published in 1924 when attitudes were very different from what they are today.

Hannay is now Sir Richard Hannay and is married with a young son. He becomes aware of a master criminal who has kidnapped three people a
Another fantastic book in John Buchan's Richard Hannay series. This one has Hannay searching out three hostages that were taken captive by Dominik Medina, a man who believes he has the power of hypnosis and plans to use it to put himself into highest leadership. The story starts off fairly slow, but by the last several chapters, it's nearly non-stop action. Overall, a very fantastic read, as if you could expect any less from Buchan.
A, now Sir, Richard Hannay adventure but one more cerebral than his suspenseful, exciting The Thirty Nine Steps. As such the suspense is more drawn out and the best excitement comes towards the end when Hannay and his opponent face each other in the Scottish hills.
Christopher Taylor
Buchan's work is fairly dated in terms of social attitudes (his comments on 'Communist Jews' and 'Levantines' are particularly uncomfortable given the interwar period, but it holds up well with only minor distraction. He has a gift for weaving very unusual, memorable characters and situations that could be implausible with a less capable author into a unique tale. There's a reason his books have endured long past many of his contemporaries.

This story in particular takes a now-content and older R
Entirely preposterous and the views in it are so bizarre and antiquated. Enjoyable twaddle.
An Odd1
Sir Richard Hannay 40s narrates, happy with Fosse Manor, wife Mary Lamington (both in Mr Standfast), son Peter John 15 months, until evil likable "fall under his charm at first sight" p 68 Dominick Medina early 30s wants to rule the world.

First Hannay is "fascinated" p 83, "under the spell" p 90. Servant Odell was recently "in the ring" p 103. Hannay resists hypnotism (of blind gypsy mother?) to rescue 3 hidden hostages - David son of Sir Arthur Warcliff, Adela Victor fiancée of Marquis 'Turpin
I found a paperback copy of this at a recent library sale. While switching back and forth between several non-fiction titles, I decided to start this yesterday afternoon. I couldn't put it down! Buchan knows how to keep the reader on the edge of his seat as he reveals clues and as Hannay uses his wit and nerve to face down villains. I don't like regular 'detective' novels, but this book was a pure delight.

I was struck by the unwritten code of honor inherent in this book, one that has completely
This book can be got for very cheap since it is out of copyright in some places. Amazing book, it's great to get back to classic Buchan. The author has really become used to his characters and they fill the book with their various personalities (for all his silly imperialism). This one has Richard Hanney at his most un-hypnotisable, chasing round men of such strong will they intoxicate others with their presence. He doesn't actually get out into the country much in this one, and not at all to Sc ...more
In the latest adventure, Richard Hannay wants nothing more than to settle down as a gentleman farmer, with his wife and son. But once again he is dragged back into the murky world of espionage, this time to bring down a criminal group trying to profit from the political and financial confusion of the time. They have taken three prominant people hostage, a young lady, a lord and the son of an important man. Hannay only has a short piece of poetry to go on, which leads him to Medina, a promising, ...more
Fast on the heels of Greenmantle, I picked up The Three Hostages. What a difference a book makes, I’ve missed out the one in the middle, Mr Standfast and in the meantime, Hannay has grown a family. This time, much of the quest is centred in Britain, aside from a sojourn in Norway. Loved the climax in the atmospheric Scottish Highlands, it took me back to the brilliance of The Thirty-Nine Steps crossed with Skyfall.
Sean O'Reilly
On the whole this is a fairly typical Richard Hannay adventure. There is a convoluted plot concocted by an obscure villain; death defying chases across rugged countryside; a cast of supporting charcaters, some of whom will be familiar to readers of other Hannay adventures; and, inevitably, a successful conclusion.

As with other books by John Buchan there is an element of casual racism which rears it's head from time to time, which some readers will find difficult to accept. Personally I look at i
A fun, fast paced adventure novel. The last of the Richard Hannay series which starts during WWI. The hero basically saves the world (again) with a combination on uncanny intuition, a great right hook, a dead-eye shot, and a healthy dose of good old fashioned imperial britian sensibility. Unfortunately the author is a bit of a racist and has it in for Jews, blacks, orientals and, well, just about every group that is not anglo-saxon . . . so be prepared for some unsavory descriptive passages . . ...more
Comfort re-read (of many) - I was so tired yesterday evening.
Juvenal Nkeramahame
It's a great whodunit about mind control and hypnotism. However, I am yet to believe that a human with the capabilities of Medina is possible.
Joan Thompson
The third of the Richard Hannay books by John Buchan. This book was published in 1924 and reflects the attitudes of that time. If you are offended by antiquated views of a racist nature don't read this book.
The beginning is a bit slow as the scene is set, but the adventure and suspense begins to build up and the when you think it is all over, there is a bit more. The grand finale is well worth the effort of reading this book. I found it full of suspense and accepted the antiquated views of socie
The writing is better than in The 39 Steps, and for a bit it really interested me and i was tempted to rate it higher. But then there was some really offensive racial stuff that kept cropping up repeatedly and was absolutely unnecessary to the story. I know it was a different time, but still I couldn't quite forgive it. Further, there were several lulls - very long, padded ones - that slowed things way down.
John Wakefield
Not as good as the other ones but still worth the read.
Huw Evans
One of the first spy novels, ewven if it is rather gung-ho and blatanly racist. Written by a spin doctor of his time, just after the First World War had begun, it is a wake up call to those at home that the enemy is at work in the homeland asmuch as he is on foreign territory. However, it is a magnificent story, well written of its time, with as unpleasant a villain as ever devised by Ian Fleming. As long as you don't take it too seriously, it is a fine read
Ian Chapman
An atmospheric tale, of 1920s Britain. When the arch-villain is talking with his mother, the narrator Hannay is unsure what language she speaks to him, but thinks it might be Erse, Irish Gaelic. This must reflect the recent Irish conflict from 1916 to early 1920s, probably with Buchan the conservative imperial Scot seeing Irish culture as a secretive opponent. Of its time, but still an exciting read.
This is the fourth suspense/thriller book about Richard Hannay, who the author first introduced to us in The 39 Steps. This action in this book is more psychological, as the author explores a post-WWI world where he finds the civilized constraints of society to be shaken. I enjoyed the re-introduction to the main characters along with several other characters readers will recognize from previous books.
Brick Books
This is by John Buchan who wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps. This book has the same hero Richard Hannay. It's about 3 very different people who are kidnapped and Richard Hannay has to find them. It's quite slow going for the first 50 pages as the stage is set but then it picks up. I re-read this book every few years.
Love this book....except for its occasional anti-Semitic remark (probably appropriate to the time and class, but still ugly). A great adventure story, great exercise in detection, great hunt for a wanted man. Reads like a footrace, maybe a steeplechase, rocketing from adventure to adventure.
This book explores all the intrigues that were fomenting after World War I and prior to the beginning of the next war. Buchan writes well and, although, it seems the conspiracies could not possibly be true, later years proved many were. I enjoy having extra details in my history search.
Trudy Pomerantz
The book featured the same hero as The Thirty-Nine Steps. It is set after WWI and is another thrill, action book. It was not, in my opinion, as good as the first book but was not bad for light reading. Interesting to see some of the attitudes just post WWI.
Can't wait to re-read some favourite stories

Certainly the weakest plot to date in the series. Enjoyed it, but much due to Peter Joyce expert narration. I think I would enjoy listening to him read the phone book.
Some parts were weird, but it's good to see that John Buchan is keeping his plots and characters up to his usual standard.
Richard Hannay doesn't come across as the sharpest tool in the shed in this one, but for some reason, I enjoyed it more than the previous books.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 33 34 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Mind control 1 2 Oct 13, 2014 01:51PM  
  • Summer Half
  • The Long Divorce (Gervase Fen, #8)
  • I Say No
  • The Riddle of the Sands
  • سرگذشت حاجی‌بابای اصفهانی
  • Enderby's Dark Lady
  • Le salaire de la peur
  • Dorothy L. Sayers: The Complete Stories
  • The Vivero Letter
  • The Rose of Tibet
  • Imperial Scandal (Charles & Mélanie Fraser, #5)
  • The French Powder Mystery
  • Sergeant Lamb's America
  • The Thirty-Nine Steps
  • The Secret History of MI6
  • Lucia Rising
  • Mefisto
John Buchan (1st Baron Tweedsmuir) was a British novelist and public servant who combined a successful career as an author of thrillers, historical novels, histories and biographies with a parallel career in public life. At the time of his death he was Governor-General of Canada.

Buchan was born in Scotland and educated at Glasgow and Oxford Universities. After a brief career in law he went to Sou
More about John Buchan...

Other Books in the Series

Richard Hannay (5 books)
  • The 39 Steps (Richard Hannay, #1)
  • Greenmantle (Richard Hannay #2)
  • Mr. Standfast (Richard Hannay, #3)
  • The Island of Sheep (Richard Hannay #5)
The 39 Steps (Richard Hannay, #1) Greenmantle (Richard Hannay #2) Mr. Standfast (Richard Hannay, #3) Prester John The Island of Sheep (Richard Hannay #5)

Share This Book

“He said that the great offensives of the future would be psychological, and he thought the Governments should get busy about it and prepare their defence... He considered that the most deadly weapon in the world was the power of mass-persuasion.” 0 likes
More quotes…