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Scratch One (Hard Case Crime) by Michael…
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Scratch One (Hard Case Crime) (edition 2013)

by Michael Crichton (Author), John Lange (Author)

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1205184,847 (3.54)2
To prevent an arms shipment from reaching the Middle East a terrorist group has been carrying out targeted assassinations in Egypt...Portugal...Denmark...France. In response, the United States sends one of its deadliest agents to take the killers down. But when the agent is delayed in transit, lawyer Roger Carr gets mistaken for him. Now, with some of the world's deadliest men after him, will he survive long enough to prove his identity?… (more)
Member:jeff.coatsworth
Title:Scratch One (Hard Case Crime)
Authors:Michael Crichton (Author)
Other authors:John Lange (Author)
Info:Hard Case Crime (2013), 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:2021-12 #66

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Scratch One by Michael Crichton

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Showing 5 of 5
I had to read this, and the other early thrillers written by Michael Crichton under various pseudonyms, him being one of my most favourite authors. Long before he became world renowned for his brilliantly versatile techno-thrillers, Crichton wrote several light pulp fiction novels to pay for his medical school. Scratch One is one of those, meant only for entertainment without taxing the reader's mind - of no consequence, in Crichton's own words. In spite of this, glimpses of Crichton's knack for imparting detailed technical knowledge to the reader through his fiction - related to medical science, art and Monaco Grand Prix - are evident in this novel too. I confess that I would not have picked it up if Crichton's name was not associated with it. But, I am happy that I did, and enjoyed it with all its plot holes and implausibilities. ( )
  aravind_aar | Nov 21, 2021 |
Pretty good story ( )
  lynngood2 | Oct 1, 2020 |
I liked the location for this story. Also, it did have a bit of the "spy" vibe to it. The main character, Roger is likable. Although, maybe not the brightest bulb in the pack. It was amazing that he did not get killed. In regards to a spy thriller, this book did have the old fashion feel to a spy movie back in the late sixties to early seventies. Not a lot of sex or violence. The story did move along fairly fast.

There were a bunch of characters that like another one of Mr. Lange's books, I had trouble keeping all of the characters straight. Again, due to Roger's lack of intelligence; at times the story did seem implausible. Yet, it was nice to see how Mr. Lange got his start as a writer. ( )
  Cherylk | Jul 1, 2018 |
During his John Lange period, Crichton had a penchant for writing about the Monte Carlo, the French Riviera, and the Costa Brava. This book is no exception as the action begins outside a casino in Monte Carlo before moving on to Cairo, Lisbon, and Copenhagen. In each of these cities, mysterious assasinations took place.

In the beginning of the book, there are a lot of things going on with disparate people in a variety of cities. It is hard to keep them straight. A terrorist group composed of Algerian and other Mideast elements wants to stop shipments from getting to Israel, which is building a nuclear reactor. The CIA wants to counteract what the terrorists are doing. So they send an assassin to Europe. Meanwhile, the Associates, led by Dr Georges Liseau, hire Ernst Brauer to counterattack the American assassin.
Into all this steps Roger Carr, who is heading to France for a real estate deal but somehow gets mixed up in international intrigue. It's several decades before the internet and fax machines and digital phones and in this semi-primitive time, mistakes about identity can be made and both the Associates and the CIA think Carr is Morgan who never made it to France. Carr gets strange phone calls at his hotel room, notes left under his drink at a cabaret theater, a strange taxi driver who leaves indecipherable clues, and a woman who approached him at the cabaret shows in his hotel room and suddenly vanishes sans her underthings. And, that's the weird stuff before the naked woman with a gun, the stranger on the palisade with a gun, and the Tommy-gun erupting on the street. There's also the matter of the knife-wielding guy who shows up in Carr's hotel room.
Meanwhile, Carr just scratches his head, confused.

Chrichton writing as Lange has done better work. It's readable, but not as slick and finished as it could be. ( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
One of the better early Crichton thrillers (written under his John Lange pseudonym) that Hard Case has reissued. It has the same problems I'm always complaining about (for example, he drops oddly specific details that aren't really necessary). The sexism and misogyny is a bit more muted in this one. And the resolution feels more like a real ending. ( )
  wjohnston | Apr 23, 2014 |
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To prevent an arms shipment from reaching the Middle East a terrorist group has been carrying out targeted assassinations in Egypt...Portugal...Denmark...France. In response, the United States sends one of its deadliest agents to take the killers down. But when the agent is delayed in transit, lawyer Roger Carr gets mistaken for him. Now, with some of the world's deadliest men after him, will he survive long enough to prove his identity?

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