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3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  944 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Reissue of the tense tale of a deadly terrorist plot set Holland, from the acclaimed master of action and suspense.


BLACKMAIL - The mass of water in its place is the work of the FFF - an Irish terrorist group who want to force Britain's and.

SUBTERFUGE - The Dutch call in Detective Lieutenant van Effen - feared interrogator and undercover in
Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 3rd 2009 by Harper (first published 1983)
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VijayaRaghavan S N
Feb 21, 2016 VijayaRaghavan S N rated it liked it
This is the second book that I am reading of Mr MacLean after 'The puppet in a chain'. There were a lot of consistencies in those two books. The one that jumps on you is the thought that the main character is a heartless wrench who got no feelings or emotions even for the people with whom he is working with or for his relatives too. The other quality that stayed true in both the book is something that I love. He doesn't spend any time at all in foreplay by building up the plot or for character d ...more
The Twins
May 15, 2011 The Twins rated it did not like it
what a battle to read this book. I like the storyline and concept but the way it is written drives me crazy. All dialogues are packed with information for the reader, but making the characters sound very unnatural - nobody would talk like that to his colleagues, friends etc - very annoying!!!
B. Marshall
May 15, 2015 B. Marshall rated it did not like it
So here it is, my premier book review, my first theoretical step into the vast community of Good Reads, and my cardinal venture into the unknown sphere of literature commentary.

If only I could have started on a better note. This book was one that I acquired for free during my local 2nd hand shop's book give away, and along with a few other titles, I thought I had done well on my quest for free reading.

Now, for such a negative review, you would be led to assume that there is something fundamenta
Razvan Banciu
Dec 26, 2014 Razvan Banciu rated it liked it
at least two or three of Mac Lean's books are little masterpieces, but that's not the case about Floodgate. the book is too long and filled with unnecessary talk, characters are not the most pleasant ones, atmosphere is dull. most of all, the action is linear and ends somehow derisory.
Scott Holstad
May 30, 2015 Scott Holstad rated it really liked it
To a large degree, I enjoyed this book although it did have some flaws. First though, the plot. Terrorists attack the Dutch by threatening to destroy their system of dykes and flood the country unless their demands are met. After awhile, a nuclear threat is introduced into the equation. A senior Dutch policeman goes undercover and penetrates this group, who is coincidentally linked to a couple of other groups he's been working on, and with the help of a couple of friends, helps to save the day. ...more
Morgan McGuire
May 27, 2016 Morgan McGuire rated it it was ok
I say this as a fan of Alistair MacLean, having read almost all of his books: this book is not very good.

The hare-brained and confusing plot, the confusion of characters with similar names, the misogyny cranked beyond ignoring, the fact that the same three characters can change disguises and fool everyone multiple times, the hackneyed bad guys, the fact that character names are simply recycled from his previous books...this feels like it was assembled by a robot from random pieces of a best-sel
Ian Pattinson
Sep 07, 2015 Ian Pattinson rated it it was ok
An un-thrilling thriller.

The premise is interesting enough- terrorists are holding the Dutch to ransom, threatening to breach dykes and canals and flood the country. A top Amsterdam detective and two undercover cops are the best hope of stopping them in time.

But all the action happens off-page, and the reader is left with a tension free trudge, as coincidence is piled on coincidence, and the threat is rendered ever more laughable. Even worse, plot development was mostly delivered by way of long,
Sam Mosholder
Jan 28, 2016 Sam Mosholder rated it really liked it
The latest book that I read is called Floodgate, by Alistair MacLean, and it is a very intriguing story. In this book, the main character Peter Van Effen goes undercover as an explosives expert into a nefarious terrorist group called the FFF. He is also the head lieutenant of the British police force. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Besides the weird way the dialogue was written, I thought the story line of this book was terrific. It was an eventful and well planned out novel. My only wish ...more
Jan 02, 2014 Alex rated it really liked it
Once again MacLean proves to be the master of his genre. The author of books such as The Guns of Navarone and Ice Station Zebra surprises us with a Dutch protagonist in the 1980s, but even though this particular novel falls more in the line of detective fiction than spy thriller, it doesn't in the least fail to deliver.

Peter Van Effen, a senior officer in the Amsterdam police force, is called on to investigate a group of terrorists who are threatening all of the Netherlands with devastating flo
Jan 12, 2015 Fraser rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Quite a passable beach read, but not a lot more.

Even though it was published in 1984 it is amazing the impact of the lack of technology such as mobile phones and any sort of reasonable computer on the plot.

The main characters speech and way of interacting was rather strange and distracting. I have read other Alistair MacLean books that I have enjoyed more.
Ishan Nag
Aug 07, 2012 Ishan Nag rated it liked it
Giving three , relatively , especially when i compare it with his other works . I always love the detailing Maclean puts in his novels .Fantabolous .MAclean's know how about the dykes , the bombs ,the floods - and all that in a simple language but never over-simplfying it
The novel is about a band of terrorists (FFF) who blasts Dykes and do some other villianics , thereby putting the dutch at ransome . The novel is aboout how the protagonist does the obvious , foils the plans . Maclean did justic
The patronizing attitude of the chief characters, especially towards the female officer and civilians, was rather irritating, and the very much upper-class British dialogue, which came across much more like stereotypical 1940s senior English military officers than how one might imagine 1980s Dutch policemen to be, made it all seem rather ponderous and pompous.
Aug 31, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it
I read this in junior high, back in 1990, so I can't remember anything about it except that it had to do with the Netherlands, and I really enjoyed it at the time. Based on this hazy memory, I'll give it 4 stars.
Jan 15, 2016 Rick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Weak ending

MacLean did a good job of building suspend as the plot unfolded, but the whole plot unraveled in a paragraph. Too bad.
read some time in 1986
Jukka T
Mar 11, 2016 Jukka T rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On se jännä!
Mar 26, 2009 Stefan rated it really liked it
Floodgate by Alistair MacLean by a thriller I enjoyed immensely. The dialogue was wonderfully varied and refreshing, the characters were not intensely developed but were still better then most thrillers, the plot was interesting and the tense uncertainty kept me glued to the pages. I found this novel to be better written then the biography of Captain Cook I had previously read by MacLean, and look forward to reading more of his books in the future.
May 25, 2009 Abe rated it really liked it
It is a good book. The author uses the risks associated with the dykes and weaves an interesting story about a terrorist plot. Undercover police are able to infiltrate the gang of terrorists who are bent on extortion for political reasons by blowing up dykes. Psychological blackmail is prevalent throughout the story. It is a very good read.
Greer Andjanetta
Aug 12, 2012 Greer Andjanetta rated it really liked it
A mystery with a different twist - 'terrorists' blackmailing Britain by threatening to blow up critical dykes and flood Holland. Written in vintage MacLean style, crisp prose, good English and none of the profanity so prevalent in so many American novels. A real pleasure reading an author who knows his English. An enjoyable read!
Alistaire King
Jan 09, 2016 Alistaire King rated it really liked it
A good premise, threatening the Netherlands by destroying the dykes, and a good start with the flooding of Schipol airport. Overall an enjoyable read. The only reservations I have are that there is more dialogue than action and the underwhelming resolution where the bad guys are disarmed and captured in less than 5 pages.
Robin Gilbert
Nov 26, 2012 Robin Gilbert rated it it was ok
Written with his usual aplomb, yet somewhat pedestrian and inevitable. We know the good guys always win yet in Floodgate I never doubted it. Not his best.
Jul 29, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thiller
a good yarn about intrigue concerning the dike system in Holland
Mar 27, 2011 Suby rated it it was amazing
Lots of facts about how vulnerable Netherlands and their dykes to terrorism!
Feb 03, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it
i thought that this was a great book and i really enjoyed it
Annette McIntyre
A rattling good yarn with lots of twists and turns.
Oct 23, 2008 Cws added it
Shelves: adventure
A Mac
Ninad Railkar
Ninad Railkar rated it it was amazing
Sep 23, 2016
Sumanta Mazumder
Sumanta Mazumder marked it as to-read
Sep 20, 2016
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Alistair Stuart MacLean (Scottish Gaelic: Alasdair MacGill-Eain), the son of a Scots Minister, was brought up in the Scottish Highlands. In 1941, at the age of eighteen, he joined the Royal Navy; two and a half years spent aboard a cruiser were to give him the background for HMS Ulysses, his first novel, the outstanding documentary novel on the war at sea. After the war he gained an English Honour ...more
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