Tuesday, March 29, 2011
1980 Edgar Award Winner for Best Novel
The Rheingold Route refers to a travel path followed by individuals attempting to smuggle British Pounds out of the country to Switzerland. Early in the novel, John Cochrane is hired to take this route in order to get his client's inheritance out of the country. While he works regularly as a "courier," he feels forced into this job. As a lonely American stranded in London (for reasons we learn along the way), he does what he must to get by. The reader quickly realizes that this job is not what it seems, but John is left in the dark and must fend off the ulterior motives of others.
I have to say that The Rheingold Route is my favorite of the three Edgar Winners I've read so far. I enjoyed the characters and the structure of the story. It felt contemporary and could easily have been written in the last few years rather than in 1979. While I wasn't sure how the story would end or who would outsmart who, there was a sense of hope that I liked. I was rooting for John Cochrane even though some of his actions were suspect. He was a complicated but likable character that I hoped would win out in the end. If you're looking for some older mystery fiction to read, I would definitely recommend The Rheingold Route.
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The Rheingold Route