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.
Classic spy story first published in 1903.
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.
The first modern spy thriller...
(different cover on Bonnie F.'s copy).