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Signpost to Terror Paperback – October, 1979

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Ace Books (October 1979)
  • ISBN-10: 0448170493
  • ISBN-13: 978-0448170497
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,595,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read this book years ago, and it has stood out in my mind. This is a gripping story about a young woman fleeing from a killer on a lonely mountain trail. Gail is trying to escape from the pressures of her family while on vacation, and she finally gets a chance to slip away to hike by herself. Somewhere on that remote trail, she meets Lew. His face is familiar, and she realizes that she'd seen him at the bank in town... Gail is drawn to him and dosen't know that she will end up fleeing to save her own life. Gail learns alot on this day-- about survival, and, oddly, about forgiveness. I will never forget this story of a young woman's courage and compassion.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book as a teenager, and I have always remembered it. It was a favorite of my sisters as well. For a children's novel, it is riveting and well-written, and the tension comes, not only from the main character, Gail, having to flee from her pursuer (an intelligent bank robber) but also from her need to overcome her persistent acrophobia in her quest for survival. For a kid's book published in 1967, it is strong about female capabilities. Gail fights against all odds to overcome the mastermind bank robber and succeeds in the end. The conflicts in her family are portrayed realistically, too. In some ways, it's retro judged from our 2012 viewpoints, but to me, that doesn't get in the way of the story. This is the 3rd time I've read it, and from my perspective as a children's library, I get something new from it on every reading.
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Format: Unknown Binding
I picked up the 1967 Tempo paperback of Gretchen Sprague's "Signpost to Terror" for a quarter at a thrift store, hoping it would be a hard-boiled, maybe even lurid and exploitative, tale of horror. The impressive cover illustration, showing a long-legged young woman in blue jeans looking over her shoulder in abject fear, was promising. I was disappointed to find that it was essentially a young adult novel and about as horrifying as a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys adventure.

Fifteen year old Gail is hiking alone in the Adirondacks, and sees some bank robbers, who then pursue her. (Didn't this also happen to Fred and Barney, and George and Astro?) Over the course of the story Gail grows as a person, overcoming her fear of heights and learning to love all humanity, including her annoying little sister and the bank robbers who try to murder her; the lead bank robber, a handsome young man who turned to a life of crime because his father abandoned him and the world is full of "phonies," dies in her arms in the final scene.

Besides being sappy, the novel generates little tension because there are three viewpoint characters besides Gail and we keep cutting away from Gail's story to learn about them and how they are growing as people. (The reader will be glad to learn that a fat kid starts losing weight after his encounter with the bank robbers. These bank robbers are very effective educators.)

"Signpost to Terror" is competently written, and for a juvenile novel, it is not bad. It was not at all what I was hoping for, but if you read thrillers because you want an uplifting message, maybe you'll like it.
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Format: Paperback
i do not think readers are giving this book the praise it deserves. it is actually a pretty good fiction story.
teen age gail is on a camping trip with her parents and her younger brat sister,karen. after a couple days of
constant annoyance(from karen),gail decides to go off hiking on her own-without telling anyone. little did
gail know,she would meet up with a trio of bank robbers. one of the trio was a young man named"lew". lew lied
and pretended to be a victim of the robbers and from the start,gail had a slight attraction to lew or at least,
felt comfortable around him. gail and lew set out walking together on the deep,dark,and lonely adirondack
mountain trails-searching for the way back to civilization. slowly...gail's inner senses tell her something
is not right with lew. the story he told gail,does not make sense(in fact,lew was ruthless and a criminal)...after gail sees that lew has a gun hidden in his jeans,she makes a split second decision and tumbles off of a ledge- to escape from lew!!!
from this point,the reader is introduced to another character,martin,an eleven year old boy who is the real
kidnap victim. eventually,gail and martin meet in the wilderness and help eachother "survive". i do not want
spoil the end,suffice to say,lew is injured and gail(almost tenderly),tends to him. gail found the humanity
and strength in herself that lew did not have. gail experienced a life changing event and survived.
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