by John Buchan
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'It's a special sort of book that can fire your imagination and transport you to worlds you've never known, but Greenmantle continues to take me on a trip, every time I read it’ – Kevin Sampson
Richard Hannay is tasked to investigate rumours of an uprising in the Muslim world and takes off on a hair-raising journey through German-occupied Europe to meet up with his old friend Sandy Arbuthnot in Constantinople, where they must thwart the Germans’ plans to use religion to help them win the war. Set during World War I, Greenmantle is a powerful meditation on the power of political Islam (it was pulled from Radio 4’s schedule at the time of the 7 July bombings).
John Buchan was a Scottish diplomat, barrister, journalist, historian, poet and novelist. He published nearly 30 novels and seven collections of short stories. He was born in Perth, an eldest son, and studied at Glasgow and Oxford. In 1901 he became a barrister of the Middle Temple and a private secretary to the High Commissioner for South Africa. In 1907 he married Susan Charlotte Grosvenor and they subsequently had four children. After spells as a war correspondent, Lloyd George’s Director of Information and Conservative MP, Buchan moved to Canada in 1935. He served as Governor General there until his death in 1940.
Allan Massie is a journalist and author of seventeen highly praised novels. Born in Singapore in 1938, he was brought up in Aberdeenshire and educated at Glenalmond School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read history. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has been a judge of the Booker Prize. He is married, has three children and lives in the Scottish Borders.