A highly-readable adventurous account of two amateur, or, would-be English spies at the dawn of WWI. I was drawn to the book as it is known as the original Spy novel. Intrigue, suspense, nautical, with historical context, I highly recommend to fans of Follett, Le Carre, etc.
The Riddle of the Sands is a surprisingly enjoyable proto-espionage novel. Styled as an expose by a self-described "peevish dandy," it relates the adventures of two young men sailing along the German shores of the North and Baltic Seas at the turn of the last century. Carruthers, a junior civil servant, reluctantly accepts his friend Davies's sailing invitation as his other social plans dried up. Although self-centered and whiny at first, he becomes a full partner in a plan to explore the German Frisian islands in an attempt to discover what the Germans might be up to, especially a mysterious figure named Dollman. There are many nautical terms involved in this story that unfolds in long, old-fashioned sentences, but I nonetheless found it an enjoyable read on the list of 1001 books you must read before you die.
Classic spy story first published in 1903.
The first modern spy thriller...
(different cover on Bonnie F.'s copy).