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The Long Escape (Dell Mapback, #405) Unknown Binding

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Dell Books; 1st PB edition
  • ISBN-10: 0440004055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440004059
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,020,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Jeff VINE VOICE on May 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of David Dodge as well as this publisher, Bruin Crimeworks which are reviving his out of print publications. David Dodge wrote in the middle of the last series. He was a tax accountant who turned thriller writer. He wrote three series, the first about a tax accountant in San Francisco who keeps encountering crime, a quirky two part series about a secret agent named John Abraham Lincoln, and his best series, a trilogy featuring Al Colby, an American gadabout and jack of all trades, plying his wares in Latin America.

The Long Escape is the first book in the Al Colby series. In it, he follows an American who fled his marriage to Latin America. Of course, picking up the trail is not all that easy, and figuring out what to do when he does find them takes up the first two thirds of the book, as do two beautiful women, several lingering threats, and the beautiful scenery of Chile. Mimicking his protagonist, Dodge packed up his family and spent years traveling in South America. The result is a sense of place and a descriptive power about the culture which really sucked me into this tale.

The denouement is clever, the puzzle is subtle, and the action is exciting. I can't think of a better way to read your first David Dodge book. And kudos to Bruin Crimeworks for republishing this fine author.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
David Dodge’s greatest success was, of course, “To Catch A Thief,” which Hitchcock turned into a movie starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Many of his novels take place in exotic locals of either Mediterranean Europe or Latin America. Dodge was a frequent traveler and his Al Colby series reveals a strong familiarity with Latin America and Dodge was also a travel writer. “The Long Escape,” published in 1948, was the first of three novels featuring Al Colby, a private investigator, who makes his home in Mexico City. The other two in the series are “Plunder Of The Sun” (1949) and “The Red Tassel” (1950). “Plunder” is also available as an e-book, but “Red Tassel” is not as easy to come across.

“The Long Escape” begins with a fairly simple assignment. A man from Pasadena, California, had disappeared five years earlier, leaving his wife, family, and various properties behind. The wife has moved on with her life, but would like to sell the properties for a substantial sum. Problem is she needs the errant husband to either sign off on his share of the property or else proof of his demise. The deal is not going to be dangled for very long and she needs to close the deal now. Colby, working on almost no information, finds proof that the disappearing man took his car south into Mexico and, from Mexico City, he begins tracing the man on a trial that leads him nearly to the tip of South America. In Chile, he meets interesting people who offer him little to satisfy him about the disappearance and much to make him curious.

There is little of the kind of action you might find in a Spillane novel. Mainly what you have here is a dogged investigator who won’t let go of the trail till he sees where it ultimately leads.
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Format: Paperback
An exciting first outing for private investigator Al Colby, on a quest to find the missing Robert Parker. The first chapter is very smartly written and amusing in parts, and Dodge doesn’t waste any time in getting Colby going on the case. Over all, the book isn’t quite as thrilling as Colby’s second installment, PLUNDER OF THE SUN, but it’s still a terrific read.
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