Both The Kufra Run and The Last Place God Made very much had a pulp feel to them, as though Higgins had been hold-up somewhere with nothing to do but devour copies of Spicy Adventure Magazine from the 1930s and watch robust adventure serials from the same era. Hes doing a certain thing here, elevating the old adventure pulp style, and hes done it to near perfection. The difference in East of Desolation is that its not a serial, but a fun and robust male adventure we get from beginning to its fabulous and very exciting end. Charter pilot Joe Martin is our main man, the voice and hero of this, but no tale this vigorous would be complete without a larger than life character, and we certainly have that in war hero and legendary actor Jack Desforge. No tale such as this would be complete without some lovely but very different women, and we get three of them, who all play strong parts in this old-style, elevated pulp adventure.
His way of life is threatened by this new group, but it seems Martin is a victim of circumstance...
What motivates a human being to brave the extreme elements of the polar icecap, secluded and isolated from civilization and the daily comforts we are all accustomed to? Jack Desforge (Harry Wells) long-time star of the silver screen and leading man in a multitude of films, the story is vastly different. Once more Jack Higgins has proven his talent by taking the reader to the isolated wastelands of Greenland and serving up a smorgasbord of suspense, romance, and danger.
It's got drama, suspense, intrigue, action, a bit of romance, and even a couple twists to keep you thinking.
Joe makes weekly supply runs to his boat for cash and when a mysterious woman arrives, asking to be taken to Jack, Joe flies her out too. Joe has more people waiting to see him, insurance agents who paid out on the death of two pilots in a wreck in (yet another) remote part of Greenland. Joe it seems, is reluctant to charter them up there, claiming he cant put down his plane as he can only land on water or tarmac, not ice, as he doesnt have skis on, and at this stage of the year, its all still frozen up there. He recommends a pilot friend, who still has skis on his plane to do the job and that friend flies up for a brief look but comes back reporting unable to land, that there was no where he could put down.
Wow. Perhaps it was because I had really low expectations or perhaps because I dismissed it in the beginning as a light novel, but it blew me away, to a certain degree, in the end.
From my book blog www.JetBlackDragonfly.blogspot.com Jack Higgins has written over 80 thrillers since 1959, including A Prayer For The Dying and his most successful, The Eagle Has Landed (his 36th novel). Joe had been busy with his friends, the aging action film star Jack Desforge and his beautiful actress friend Ilana, but as he has the only seaplane capable of landing on Lake Sule near the crash site, they all head out to find it. Joe Martin is a great character, who sees the corruption and machinations of those around him, yet remains honourable and forthright. Not just a solid thriller, but a solidly written novel, with great characters, twists, action.
Jack Higgins' early books are pretty decent adventures.
Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Patterson grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. In 1959, while teaching at James Graham College, Patterson began writing novels, including some under the alias James Graham. With the 1975 publication of the international blockbuster The Eagle Has Landed, which was later made into a movie of the same name starring Michael Caine, Patterson became a regular fixture on bestseller lists.