The Power House
by John Buchan
The Power House
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'There is a message for modern politicians in his writing' – Ann Widdecombe
Written in 1916, The Power House was the first adventure of prosperous Scots lawyer and MP Sir Edward Leithen and tells of a young lawyer fleeing murderous establishment figures and villains. The Power House is a classic Buchan thriller – one of the best. The hero, Leithen, is often considered to be Buchan’s altar ego.
One of Alfred Hitchcock’s favourite writers, 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.
Stella Rimington, who provides an introduction to The Power House, is a Buchan enthusiast. She spent her career in MI5, working in counter espionage, counter subversion and counter terrorism, becoming Director General from 1992 to 1996. Her autobiography Open Secret was published in 2001 and she has written three thrillers, At Risk, Secret Asset and Illegal Action, all broadly based on her experiences and featuring the MI5 officer, Liz Carlyle.