An Apple Books Classic edition.
John Buchan’s novel is credited with kicking off the “man on the run” genre of thriller. Since its publication in 1915, it’s inspired a multitude of adaptations, including a movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The story follows Scottish expat Richard Hannay, who has just returned to London from South Africa and is quickly thrust into a shadowy, dangerous world of political intrigue.
The suspense kicks off when Hannay agrees to shelter an American stranger who tells him about a powerful underground society called the Black Stone that aims to start an armed conflict. When Hannay finds the stranger murdered in his apartment, he borrows a milkman’s uniform and successfully flees the building, embarking on a heart-pounding journey throughout England and Scotland. With the Black Stone and the London police both hunting him, Hannay races against time to decode the dead man’s notebook, which may hold the key to proving his innocence—and preventing Europe from descending into all-out war. The Thirty-Nine Steps is a page-turning masterpiece.