Book Review – The Way To Dusty Death – Alistair MacLean

A talented and dashing young Formula 1 driver begins to act erratically and kills a fellow driver during a race. His manager and a journalist try to find out what is happening before anyone else can be killed, but what they find out is not what they are expecting.

Probably the fastest Alistair MacLean book to read, Dusty Death is a lightweight thriller that is heavy on speed and light on making sense. Written in 1973, it conjures up what Formula 1 racing must have been, rather than the very business like racing we see today. The book doesn’t delve that deeply into the in’s and out’s of the race circuit, rather keeping its focus on the main players. Even with the book not being a classic, it is still very enjoyable with a plot that only reveals itself at the end of the story.

Its funny that MacLean was known for using the same names for different characters in different books, and Dusty Death was no exception. What is different is that there are certain phrases such as “All sins forgiven” which also was a crucial phrase in Where Eagles Dare. Many critics feel that MacLean’s later books lacked the originality of his earlier works and perhaps this is a good indication of that.

I still enjoy reading Dusty Death, faults and all, because its a good tale, not perfect but never boring.

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