John Buchan wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps at the beginning of the First World War. In it he introduces his most famous hero, Richard Hannay, who, despite claiming to be an 'ordinary fellow', is caught up in the dramatic race against a plot to devastate the British war effort. Hannay is hunted across the Scottish moors by police and spy-ring alike, and must outwit his intelligent and pitiless enemy in the corridors of Whitehall and, finally, at the site of the mysterious thirty-nine steps. The best-known of Buchan’s thrillers, The Thirty-Nine Steps has been continuously in print since first publication and has been filmed three times, most notably by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935.
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