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The Three Hostages (Richard Hannay #4)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  749 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
(A Peacock Book)
Mass Market Paperback
Published 1963 by Penguin Books Ltd. (first published January 1st 1924)
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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
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
First of all, the moral lesson of the story is that never ever trust somebody who is too good to be true; extremely good looking, highly intelligent, rich, seems kind and enchanting. He must be planning to take over the world ✌✌✌
Richard Hannay sudah pingin pensiun dan hidup tenang dgn istrinya Mary dan anaknya yg msh kecil Peter John, tp dia dimintai tolong dgn kasus hilangnya tiga orang yg sama sekali tidak ada hubungan. Setelah berembug kesana kesini dgn Sandy Arbuthnot, dibantu Greenslade,
John Frankham
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This wonderful, fourth in the series, Sir Richard Hannay adventure, sees Hannay, ex-General and under-cover agent in WWI, now 42, dragged from his wife, child, and Cotswold farming existence, back into harness to help the rescue of three young hostages, taken so that the villain can, as well as furthering his craze for crime and stopping his activities being investigated, obtain complete mental control over his acolytes.

Well-written, witty and exciting, it shows again Buchan's great narrative an
While a few aspects of this 4th installment in the Richard Hannay series show their age (this was first published in 1924), most of it is surprisingly still relevant. The use of propaganda to get fanatics or troubled youngsters to stir up trouble is something we can see today.

The only thing that bothered me is the abruptness of the ending. I would have liked one or two more pages although in reality, there was nothing more that needed to be said.
Nov 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sally Ewan
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
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.
Oct 25, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Buchan wrote so well and his hero, Richard Hannay, a quintessential Englishman, is brave and clever although he doesn't see himself as such. This was a tension-filled and exciting story, set in the 1920s and Hannay is now married with a young son. Very entertaining.
Aug 23, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Entirely preposterous and the views in it are so bizarre and antiquated. Enjoyable twaddle.
Annabel Frazer
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my favourite of the Buchan thrillers - partly, these days, because being set in Britain with an almost entirely British cast, it manages to avoid the casual racism which makes so many other Buchans these days difficult to read. But more because in my view, it has a more ingenious plot with real puzzles satisfyingly resolved than, say, The Thirty-Nine Steps (which depends on a lot of running around and some extraordinary coincidences, plus an absolutely cracking title). It also has, again ...more
Gordon Mckinlay
A nice easy read. Although the language can jar sometimes (racist and sexist language) the Richard Hanny stories remain good.
Deanne Davies
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A most enjoyable thriller cleverly plotted.
Syd Logsdon
Now the war is over and Hannay, with his wife and son, have settled in to a life of peace. It is not to last. Three hostages have been taken from three of England’s leaders, and the ransom is their support of a program destructive to England. Hannay, against his inclinations, enters the search for the hostages. Much of the story is a series of chases, following various clues, during which Hannay is once again forced to work against the ordinary police to maintain his secrecy. Even when he finds ...more
Mais je savais à présent que la beauté du monde dépend de celui qui le regarde.
Ben Westerham
This one features Richard Hannay, he of the '39 Steps', and is a similar type of boys own adventure story set amongst the upper elechons of British society shortly after the First World War.

The basic story is at heart one of adventure and in that respect is a pretty decent one, especially the final show-down, which has all the ingredients you would expect from such a book. However, there is also a strong theme that runs throughout that is concerned with the way that people's minds can be swayed
An Odd1
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
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
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Imagining Hitchcock's Robert Donat imbuing (Sir) Richard Hannay with his special charm can't redeem much of the datedness of this. And even allowing for the attitudes of the time, the views toward blacks, Jews and swarthy others on offer here are generally rather deplorable. Could get past all of this if it weren't for a plot that is rife with coincidence and chance well beyond what seems plausible, even for a thriller of this nature. There is also quite a lot of hokum about phrenology and hypno ...more
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
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
Sep 12, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could have given this 2 and a half. The writing is capable but I still don't fully understand who took the hostages and why?? But its positive side for me was seeing what made for acceptable writing in 1924. It references Jews, 'niggers' and even Mahatma Ghandi negatively so from that one gets a feel for the upper crust attitudes of the 20s. The British on the other hand are mostly sterling good chaps. Still, confusion in its explanation of the plot is pretty poor. The idea of controlli ...more
Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
In this fourth Richard Hannay adventure, Hannay, his wife and other familiar faces come back from retirement to tackle an unpleasant case involving kidnapping, “vanished souls”, and plots for world domination. Unfortunately, the strongest parts of this book are the descriptions of the English and Scottish countryside, and the weakest parts are the adventure, which strangely mixes violence with good sportsmanship. There are also anti-Semitic remarks by the main characters that appear to reflect t ...more
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.
Joan Thompson
Jan 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Huw Evans
Sep 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, spy
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
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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John Buchan (1st Baron Tweedsmuir) was a Scottish 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 educated at Glasgow and Oxford Universities. After a brief career in law he went to South Africa in 1902 wh
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)

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“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.” 1 likes
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