Monday, July 13, 2015
Tom Quest #1 Sign of the Spiral and #2 The Telltale Scar
Now, ten years later, Gulliver sends Tom a letter that includes a recent photograph of a native wearing a brooch that was fashioned in the shape of Hamilton Quest's Archimedes spiral. The only way the native could have the brooch is if he came into contact with Hamilton Quest. Soon, Gulliver and Tom learn that John Hanford has reappeared, so they travel to Horsehead, Texas, where Hanford is said to be staying with his stepdaughter, Barbara.
Gulliver is a great character, and he is the centerpiece of the series. Gulliver has many strange habits. For instance, Gulliver removed the windshield from his jeep because he finds it easier to step out of the front of his jeep and across the hood. Gulliver also believes in driving in a straight line to his destination, through fields.
This book is suspenseful from the very beginning. Striker tells a good story, getting the reader intrigued from the beginning.
On page eight, "Tom acted impulsively. Leaping from the seat, he used a trick learned from his Math instructor who had been a Commando." That made me laugh. Imagine a teacher showing the students some good Commando moves after a daily lesson.
On page 74, Whiz "used his thumbnail to snap an old-fashioned wooden match into flame." As opposed to what? Don't we still use wooden matches even now, nearly 70 years after this book was published? I did a minor amount of research into matches, and I assume that the "old-fashioned" wooden matches had a head made of different materials that were no longer in common use in 1947.
In Ecuador, the group prepares to trek into the jungle towards Peru, where Hamilton Quest disappeared. Gulliver is infuriated that Perry continues to linger in the vicinity, but finally, Perry vanishes. Natives are hired for the journey, and all is going well.
I like that Gulliver is not easily taken in by smooth-talking villains. Gulliver is easily the most important character and the real star of the series.
I greatly enjoyed both books.