Book Review – The Golden Gate – Alistair MacLean

A presidential motorcade is hijacked in the middle of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. A well organised team of criminals have just captured the President as well as two visiting royal Arabs. Everything has been thought of and planned out to the last detail. Well almost the last detail.

The Golden Gate, while perhaps not the most literary classic ever written by MacLean is a perfect thriller. It is a fast read that keeps the reader turning the pages as quick as they can. Too quick to worry about plot holes or anything else.  Published in 1976, it has the quaint style of replacing swear words with ‘deleted’ or even ‘unprintable’. As much as people are used to hearing, reading and even saying swear words, to have them visually removed does have an air of a bygone age, and doesn’t spoil
the flow the story.

Alistair MacLean‘s books often feel into two categories, normal lead characters who were put into extra-ordinary situations or a character or two who were extra-ordinary who become the fly in someone’s well planned criminal ointment.

While obviously slightly dated, The Golden Gate is an enjoyable novel that has become one of my favourite MacLean books. I am pretty sure that it would have made a good movie, even if only a TV movie. Of course, filming on the Golden Gate might have been a little difficult but with CGI today,
anything is possible.

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