In his final novel, Sick Heart River, John Buchan predicted that with the outbreak of a second world war Richard Hannay and all his companions of old would be going back into action. In The Thirty-One Kings, the tale of their adventures is finally told.
June 1940. As German troops pour across France, the veteran soldier and adventurer Richard Hannay is called back into service. In Paris an agent, codenamed 'Roland', has disappeared and is assumed to be in the hands of the Nazis. Only he knows the secret of the 31 kings, one upon which the future of Europe depends. Hannay is dispatched to Paris to find Roland before the Germans overrun the city.
On a hazardous journey across the battlefields of France, Hannay is joined by old friends and new allies as he confronts a ruthless foe who will stop at nothing to destroy him.
There is a bit of the original John Buchan style in this new Richard Hannay story from Robert J. Harris, but only a bit. The plot is very sketchy and the nature of the 31 Kings puzzle is not really any puzzle at all, so Richard Hannay doesn't get the opportunity to figure it out in his own dogged way. Also he seems to have lost his ability to get himself out of the scrapes that he gets himself into and has become totally dependent on others rescuing him. There is a pleasing gathering of many of the favourite characters from the John Buchan stories, including the Gorbals Diehards. So overall, it was OK, but not of the standard of Buchan himself.
Too many “jolly hockey sticks” for me” but a typical good story and well read.