Wednesday, April 01, 2009


I learned something interesting a few weeks ago—Alistair MacLean’s Navarone series (The Guns of Navarone and its somewhat less successful sequel Force 10 from Navarone) has been continued by British author Sam Llewellyn. Llewellyn is best known, at least at my house, as the author of eight sea adventure / mystery novels published by Pocket Books; beginning with Dead Reckoning (1987) and ending with Maelstrom (1994).

Mr Llewellyn wrote two Navarone novels in the 1990s. The titles were never published in the United States and the reviews over at Amazon are less than glowing, but damn, two new novels featuring the boys from Navarone; two novels written by a writer whom I haven’t read in a decade or more, but a writer who could spin a terrific mystery / adventure story.

The titles are: Storm Force from Navarone (1996) and Thunderbolt from Navarone (1998).

The description of Storm Force:

“Alistair MacLean's gritty heroes from Navarone are not dead, and definitely not forgotten. Mallory, Miller and Andrea, the surviving commandos of Force 10 from Navarone, are sent on operation Storm Force a perilous mission through the Pyrenees to disable the greatest threat to the success of the D-Day landings, the Werewolf U-boats. They have less than six days to locate the subs and destroy them, operating outside of normal channels, without any backup . . . a true mission impossible, and a worthy modern successor to the original novels.”

The description for Thunderbolt:

“Fresh from their mission against Werewolf U-Boats, Mallory, Miller and Andrea are summoned to Naval HQ and given their mission: to reconnoiter Kynthos and determine the German development of the lethal V3 rocket, and destroy any facilities. A rocket expert accompanies them but can they trust him.”

My only hesitation? I was burned more than once by those disappointing “Alistair MacLean” novels written by Alastair MacNeill (Death Train, Red Alert, Code Breaker, etc) a decade or so ago.

Although, to be fair, Alistair MacLean couldn’t write Alistair MacLean past about 1970. Wow, that sounds snarky.


RJR said...

Puppet on a Chain wasmy favorite novel of his.


Ben Boulden said...

The hay stack scene in Puppet on a Chain was amazing. It's been fifteen years since I read it, but it still stands out in my mind.

My favorite MacLean novel was Fear is the Key.

Chris said...

Name a thriller writer who didn't go off towards the end... Hammond Innes is the only exception I can think of. Colin Forbes must have been the worst - started brilliantly but then wrote 15 books in a row with the same plot and characters...