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Pray for a Brave Heart Paperback – January 29, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Smartly crafted, wonderfully paced, and filled with characters whose agendas could be either truthful or malicious, Pray for a Brave Heart is the quintessential exploration of the world of espionage; it’s suspense writing at its finest, and MacInnes at the height of creativity.” – Literary Inklings

About the Author

Helen MacInnes (1907-1985) was the Scottish-born American author of 21 spy novels. Dubbed "the queen of spy writers", her books have sold more than 25 million copies in the United States alone and have been translated into over 22 languages. Several of her books have been adapted into films, such as Above Suspicion (1943), with Joan Crawford, and The Salzburg Connection (1972).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 343 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781161526
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781161524
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Surles on April 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I agree with the previous reviewers. This is my favorite of all of her books and one of my all time favorite stories. The main characters are well drawn and amusing. I have often wondered if she and her husband were the basis for the married couple in the story. She does the innocent American overseas the best of anyone I know. It is very cold war mentality, and dates because of that, but has aged well in my opinion. A later book tells you what eventually happens to Keppler, but I don't think the other characters are ever mentioned again.
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Format: Paperback
It's 1952 and American Bill Denning is ready to say goodbye to life in the army's Restitution of Property division with his eyes set on returning home to the States. But when a friend and fellow army man comes to him with a quiet and emphatic request for one last case, Denning finds himself amid tumultuous drama in Switzerland as he works to recover the elusive Herz diamonds, spoilers from the war which are reportedly being smuggled out of the continent. On a mission to retrieve the diamonds, Denning will need all of his wits and a few trusted friends to help him navigate the treacherous territory of Europe during the Cold War and the manipulations of men who will do what they must for their own agendas.

The ninth in Helen MacInnes's bibliography of more than twenty novels, Pray for a Brave Heart showcases the author's talent brilliantly. Originally published in 1955, it highlights and expands on many of the elements for which MacInnes continues to be revered, even now, over thirty years after her death; there is a smart energy and a gripping literary prowess that sparks off the pages. Comparing Pray for a Brave Heart with the first of MacInnes's novels that I recently read, Above Suspicion, I was struck by the way she managed to maintain her unique brand of storytelling while completely altering the experience of the two novels. With fourteen years between the publication of each book, and with seven books in between, MacInnes was able to evolve her story's thrills to keep her genre fresh without losing touch with the writing style readers instantly came to know her for. I enjoyed the departures from Above Suspicion that she took in Pray for a Brave Heart, most notably the different way she approached her narrative.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Helen MacInnes writes great books. Have complete collection of her books in paperback but was wanting to get the digital ones for my Kindle. Am so glad they have finally digitized them! Her books are a realistic glimpse into the life of those undercover agents who fight unknown and unrewarded to guard the freedom we accept as our given right. Or the underground fight during WWII in Europe often with amateurs walking the tightrope of an innocent abroad while helping those who worked to see the Allies won the war.
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Format: Hardcover
Given the cold war mentality here, this is a well paced, interesting story that has always been one of my favorite books. The characters are, to me, engrossing and, the good guys, at least, believable. The scenery is always fascinating-the writer, who has been deceased for some years now, must have lived in the areas she wrote about, and the innocent American abroad theme is always well served in her hands, particularly since he is avenging the death of his old war friend.
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Format: Paperback
Reading Mciness for the first time one appreciates the finely observed details of characters, gestures, and place. The subtle plotting contrasts sharply with the simplistic and ideologically-driven thrillers so in evidence now. Most of the action takes place in and around Bern, Switzerland, not a city many readers now would be very familiar with, and hinges on a Cold War smuggling operation of political refugees, although the ostensible subject of a police investigation is smuggled diamonds. The characters are nicely drawn, but not really interesting enough to sustain engagement throughout the entire book, and they rather flock like birds to the loci of action. Neither is there the sustaining tension of wondering what will happen next; as the novel winds down the outcomes may be easily guessed at. Still, it's refreshing to find the civilized tone, the forgotten nuances of life of another time, and the artful use of language. As this was my inaugural Mciness novel, I may now look forward to others.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love these vintage suspense, thrillers by this talented and quite prolific author. Most of the intrigue for this novel takes place in Switzerland after the War. It involves the hunt for famous diamonds and for the identity of the "Committee" whose work it is to safeguard refugees from war torn Europe.
Nicely atmospheric and wonderful detail for time and place.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So glad to see one of my favorite authors of all time now available on Kindle. "Pray for a Brave Heart" was one of the few MacInnes books I had not read and I was enthralled from start to finish. Her combination of mystery, intelligence officers and of course a little romance thrown in made this a great book to read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I remember reading everything Helen MacInnes wrote when I was a lot younger than I am now and relishing every novel. When I noticed "Pray For A Brave Heart" was available on Kindle, I couldn't resist. Reread it after these many years and enjoyed it just as much as the first read. She writes a really good story about espionage and folds it into just enough description about where the story takes place and gives enough insight to the characters to make you care about them. Yes, this story has to do with the days when we worried about Russia and Communists and it's just after The War, when Nazi looters are trying to keep their ill-gotten gains or at least sell them for a great amount of money and when freedom for Russian citizens was unheard of and escape was a dangerous game.

Thank you, Amazon, for bringing back the work of this author. She was one of the best (and personally, I think many of today's novelists could learn a thing or two from her).
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