Friday, August 28, 2015

Forgotten Books: The Persian Cat - John Flagg (John Gearon)

THE PERSIAN CAT by John Flagg is notable for being the first novel Gold Medal published (with a really nice cover, to boot), but in addition to that it's also a fine yarn of post-World War II international intrigue.

Disillusioned American Gil Denby, who worked with the O.S.S. and the French Resistance during the war, is recruited by an old colleague to go to Iran and maneuver a fugitive war criminal into returning to French territory so she can be arrested and put on trial. However, that fugitive is a beautiful woman, and once Denby arrives in Teheran he starts to fall for her. The city is full of clandestine agents working for various countries as well as master criminals, and not surprisingly, not everything is as it seems and Denby quickly winds up not knowing who to trust as he tries to untangle everything.

John Flagg, whose real name was John Gearon, was an excellent writer with a very smooth style and a steady command of pace and plot all the way to the very satisfying ending. I could easily see THE PERSIAN CAT being turned into a top-notch early Fifties movie with, say, Humphrey Bogart playing the cynical but stubbornly romantic Gil Denby. Stark House has reprinted this novel as one of the initial entries in its Black Gat Books line, and that's a good choice. I enjoyed reading THE PERSIAN CAT and give it a high recommendation.

1 comment:

George said...

The STARK HOUSE edition of THE PERSIAN CAT just arrived. I can't wait to read it!