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Decision at Delphi by Helen MacInnes

Decision at Delphi (1960)

by Helen MacInnes

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246866,645 (3.51)27



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Architect Kenneth Strang has made a name for himself with his artistic reconstructions of ancient ruins. As he sails to his current assignment in Greece, he remembers his last visit 15 years earlier during his naval service in World War II. Strang's photographer, Greek-American Steve Kladas, has traveled separately to take photographs ahead of Ken's arrival, leaving an extra suitcase of film for Ken to bring to their rendezvous. When Steve disappears after their meeting in Sicily, Ken suspects that the disappearance may be related to something in the suitcase. Ken won't be able to focus on his assignment until he solves the mystery of Steve's disappearance and figures out what to do with the suitcase and its contents.

Much of the suspense in the thriller/espionage genre comes from the protagonist's uncertainty about which of the other characters can be trusted. Who is a friend and who is a foe? The tension in this novel peaks too early, as the true identity of the “bad guy” is revealed near the middle of the book. MacInnes's plots and characters are very similar to Mary Stewart's writing. This book reminded me a lot of Stewart's My Brother Michael.The main difference is that Stewart's protagonist is a woman and MacInnes's protagonist is a man. ( )
  cbl_tn | Apr 13, 2018 |
Gorgeous but old-fashioned. Lovely 50s values; reminiscent of Eric Ambler (plus frocks ...) ( )
  jtck121166 | Nov 2, 2017 |
I left this one unfinished because I didn’t think it should take me a week to get through a thriller. It was slower and less exciting than Assignment in Brittany. The character of Cecilia was a good one, but I really didn’t like the discussions of gender stereotypes and the differences between the sexes (that reinforced these stereotypes and differences). ( )
  rabbitprincess | Oct 17, 2017 |
This is an intricate mystery novel set in Greece in the late 1950's where memories of the civil war following WW II are still fresh and revenge for past atrocities are still being meted out.

Kenneth Strange is an American whose job for a magazine is to go to Greece and draw Greek temples and other buildings as they were originally built. His friend Steve who is Greek is photograph them as they are now- ruins. Soon Steve disappears and it turns out he fought the Germans during the war and some Greeks who played on both sides of the war fear he may reveal what he saw. Ken becomes involved in the search for him and the search becomes more involved and dangerous as he .pursues the clues with the help of Greek police.

The novel is lengthy, involved, mysterious, romantic and full of recent Greek history. Much of Greece was rural and life was still primitive in the period the novel was written. ( )
  lamour | Aug 26, 2016 |
First published in 1960 during the Cold War. Here we have the background of the Greek Civil War. An unwitting architect, who is writing some articles on Greek ruins, gets embroiled in espionage. Great plotting. The story really moves along. I had never read her work before and this was a book club selection. I may go back and get more of MacInnes's novels. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 3, 2016 |
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Now there's a pretty girl, Kenneth Strang thought, as he relaxed his efforts to open the porthole of his cabin and glanced down at the cluster of upturned faces planted along the pier's edge.
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Book description
A suspense novel about a young American on a magazine assignment in Sicily and Greece who becomes involved in a struggle against a monstrous conspiracy.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0006144276, Paperback)

Kenneth Strang sets out for Sicily and Greece on a seemingly innocent, although fascinating, magazine assignment. But even before his ship sails from New York, the atmosphere becomes charged with sinister omens, as one mysterious event follows another in the course of the voyage.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:21 -0400)

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