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Publisher's Summary

From the acclaimed master of action and suspense. The all-time classic.

Paul Sherman of Interpol's Narcotics Bureau flies to Amsterdam on the trail of a dope king.

With enormous skill the atmosphere is built up: Amsterdam with its canals and high houses; stolid police; psychopaths; women in distress; and above all, murder.

©1969 HarperCollins Publishers (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"With this book Alistair MacLean will make another killing." ( Sunday Mirror)

What listeners say about Puppet on a Chain

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great story, great plot, lots of action. Could no

great story, plot, and lots of action. I could not put it down. Then I listened to it in the car.

3 people found this helpful

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Alistair MacLean Never Ages

What did you love best about Puppet on a Chain?

The story was great, classic MacLean, and Oliver's narration was spot on.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes

What does Jonathan Oliver bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He does a great job of pulling the reader into the story.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

2 people found this helpful

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tragic

I'm always delighted to read or listen to one of Alistair Maclean's books... but this one is not one of my absolute favorite books. Too much death and macabre happenings to be as fun as most of his books. Still, excellent writing and excellent audio narration.

1 person found this helpful

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Creative Use of Characters

Amazingly well defined characters whose importance in the story are held to the very end.
Again, brilliantly done.

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  • A. H. Cross
  • 07-23-21

Great Style

I loved the dry sarcasm of the main character in this book. It's something Alistair MacLean does very well, and makes the characters seem less flat. The premise for the story is sound, but there's a rather large pinch of salt that needs to be chucked over your shoulder - I can't imagine a western European country allowing officers to go around killing whoever he comes across.

Jonathan Oliver reads the stories well, delivers the dry sarcasm brilliantly, and I'm glad he's read the whole series of MacLean novels to date.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Watts
  • 07-19-22

Shame about the accent(s)

Felt the narrator pitched it wrong, tried too hard with accents for different parts. A shame as a great book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-11-22

Frantically fascinating.

Perhaps one of my most favourite thrillers. Puppet on a chain is a darkly comedic tale that is easily misunderstood. The protagonist Major Paul Sherman (of Interpol) finds himself operating on enemy territory with limited resources and constant surveillance. His two female assistants are, in an old fashioned and chivalrous manner, as much of a liability as an asset to his operation.

This is where the novel deviates from conventional spy stories before and after as Major Sherman proceeds to dangerously bait and provoke a deadly criminal organisation into revealing itself and it's methods. This works because the protagonist narrates his tale with a corrosive sarcasm and razor wit that has caused other readers to view him as unlikeable, callous and unashamedly obnoxious. On top of this he is infuriatingly arrogant to those around him.

These irredeemable qualities make him well suited to cause waves in the Dutch underworld and produce unorthodox results where others have failed.

This for me is what makes the story original and worthwhile and I would recommend this gem to those who are willing to revisit the thriller genre from another perspective.