Monday, March 5, 2012

The Road to Damascus - Michael Gilbert

Back to the theme of the Queen's Quorum titles for the 1st week of the month.

Theme: Queen’s Quorum Titles
Story: The Road to Damascus
Author: Michael Gilbert
Source: Game Without Rules (Queen’s Quorum #124)
Story Number: 65
The collection of stories featuring the duo of British Intelligence spies Mr. Joseph Calder & Mr. Samuel Behrens have been hailed by Ellery Queen as the second best volume of spy stories ever written, with W. Somerset Maugham’s ‘Ashenden’ taking the first place!
Calder & Behrens were first introduced in the story “The Road to Damascus”. Behrens is keeping a close eye on Colonel Mark Bessendine to catch him red-handed as the British know that he is passing on secret information to the Russians. Calder meanwhile comes across a dead body in a cave which was being used for military operations during the war. His investigations reveal that the cave was designed by three men, two of them are dead and the third happens to be Mark Bessendine – who was blown away by a bomb when he was in the process of covering up the hideout and has now survived with a new face after undergoing a plastic surgery.
Since both the cases are connected, Calder & Behrens decide to club their resources to sort out the problem. To complicate matters, there was a German spy by the name of Hessel who had vanished into thin air during the same time frame. Who is the dead man? Is it Mark? If it’s Mark, then is the person masquerading as the Colonel really the German spy? Or is the dead man Hessel? If so, who killed him?  Finally, it all leads to a stimulating confrontation between Behrens and the Colonel!

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