McCarrys writing style follows the pulp-style tradition, the non-florid (but not so spare as to be gaunt) but clean and smooth style of writers like Dashiell Hammett, George F. Worts (Im thinking of the Peter the Brazen stories in Argosy), Theodore Roscoe, Talbot Mundy, Georges Surdez, and innumerable PBO (paperback original) authors for Gold Medal and other publishers (such as John D. MacDonald, Charles Williams, Dan Marlowe, Edward S. Aarons, Donald Hamilton and others).
And McCarry gets kudos even from someone like Eric Ambler, no slouch in the thriller department. Old Boys seems to wrap up a loose series of books about spy Paul Christopher and his nephew, spy Horace Hubbard. (The first of these books, The Miernik Dossier, was also McCarrys first novel.) However, one doesnt have to read the entire series and know all the backstory to read and enjoy Old Boys. As noted, it was the first McCarry book I read, and I picked up all the character history I needed during the course of the narrative to rave about it here. Ill be going on the hunt for McCarrys other novels now.
Not as profound as some critics might say and the ending fight is a bit much, but it's still great fun. In this post-Cold War era, spy thrillers seem to be feelig their way around, but this one is a step in the right direction.
I liked it very much; i kept trying to cast the movie as I read it.
I have a general rule of thumb about books. If the author can't get me interested in 50 pages, I stop reading. I gave this author 100 pages then quit out of boredom. Plodding plot, uninteresting characters, and prose that was almost academic in its blandness. Threw it away.
Autographed copy -- my first Chas. McCarry novel and I really did enjoy it.
A little bit of intrigue, sensuality, adventure and wickeness. Master Spy Paul Christopher is back ... or is he?