Thursday, January 19, 2017
THE BLACK GANG - Sapper
"Eight evil men assemble in an English country house. Thieves, white slavers, drug dealers,and communists, they share one common goal: the destruction of everything that England holds dear. Police surround the manor in preparation for a raid. Suddenly, a gang of men in black masks appears and knocks the officers unconscious. Whips in hand, the Black Gang enters the house - and the crooks beg for the soft touch of the police." -(Amazon)
H.C.McNeile better known as 'Sapper' is the author of this "Bulldog" Drummond adventure. McNeile got given the name "Sapper" to write under by his publisher. McNeile had started getting stories published while he was serving in the trenches in the First World War and as it was forbidden for serving Officers to have work published under their own name. he used this.
This is an excellent adventure where a group of ex-soldiers take it upon themselves to rid England of those that threaten the England they love. It is great fun, the best way I can describe it is James Bond without the tedious description of everything eaten, drunk and smoked. It's surprisingly violent for its time with a good smattering of humour.
Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond a gentleman of independent wealth spends his day s acting as a monied buffoon, a gorilla sized Bertie Wooster, whereas in reality he his gathering information to rid the country of communists infiltrators.
The only negative is the aged views on other races and religions, Jews and those of other than white skin are spoken of terribly in way that grates. Thankfully this only features in the first few chapters.
McNeile obviously sold books like nobodies business. This story was published in 1922, this edition I have was printed in 1947 and it is the 46th edition. Not bad in 25 years.
I have come across Sapper short stories in anthology's but this is the first novel I've found. I will be looking our for more, really good fun.