Some may not be aware that 'The Black Shrike' and 'Dark Crusader' are one and the same book, with the title changing when Dark Crusader was released in America as The Black Shrike. Or (my memory...), maybe it was changed when Dark Crusader was issued as a paperback. Either way, this particular novel was written when Alistair MacLean was in top form. It's not a complex story in any way. Simple and straightforward. Funny, sometimes simple is best, especially when It's A.M. doing the writing. Of the numerous books written by Mr. MacLean, the first 2/3rds are the best. Yes, they are written mainly for juveniles, but somehow they work well even when read as an adult (can you say "Harry Potter"?).
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