When Richard Hannay returns from a long stay in Africa, he becomes caught up in a sensational plot to precipitate a pan-European war.

After the discovery of a corpse in his flat, Hannay flees the attentions of both the conspirators and the forces of the law, and the pursuit turns into a thrilling manhunt.

Set against the hot summer which precedes the outbreak of the First World War, The 39 Steps is one of the finest and most highly admired thrillers ever written.


We rarely fail to please with our classics. As a group we can see the merit in most of these literary gems, even if it does not fall into our preferred genre. Visit our Over the Fence blog and find out more of what we thought of last month’s book The 39 Steps by John Buchan.