Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Khufra Run by James Graham (Jack Higgins)

The Khufra Run by James Graham (Jack Higgins)
MacMillan Hardcover
Copyright 1972

Published in 1972, "The Khufra Run" is another adrenalin-filled adventure that was written under the author's pseudonym of James Graham. In his early writing days, Jack Higgins took the reader to different locations and in this one we start in Ibiza, Spain. Ex-'Nam pilot Jack Nelson runs a charter floatplane service there and he has been known to take a job or two on the illegal side when cash is low. Along with Harry Turk, an American ex-Marine that Nelson befriended when both were captured by the Viet Cong, they stumble on an opportunity to retrieve a loot of sunken treasure in the Khufra Marshes. But of course it won't be easy to accomplish. An abstruse nun, who Nelson saves from being raped, only knows the exact location of the treasure. A violent group is after her for the secret and her life is constantly in jeopardy. As the nun gains knowledge that Nelson and Turk have commando skills that can even the score against a formidable enemy, she allows both men to protect her and help recover the treasure for a share. As in most Higgins novels the action starts quick and never lets up. Nelson's plane is destroyed, there are more attempted attacks to stop them, and with a small cache of weapons the race is on to the Khufra Marshes.

Higgins is a master at narration. The trek that Nelson, Turk and the nun take to the marshes is an intense ride for the reader, all captured in a group of explosive chapters. Throw in an aging Hollywood starlet who may have a stake in the outcome, illegal drugs, bad weather in a hostile environment, explosions and constant dodging of automatic gunfire- and "The Khufra Run" becomes one of the best novels that I have read by Jack Higgins.

Jack Higgins wrote four novels under the name of James Graham. All take you on a deadly adventure that is packed with action between pages of a darn good plotted story:

A Game for Heroes (1970)
The Wrath of God (1971)
The Khufra Run (1972)
The Run to Morning (1974)

4 comments:

Bill Crider said...

I like all of these a lot.

Ben Boulden said...

This is one of my favorite of Higgins' novels, but all of his early work is really entertaining.

Steve Lewis said...

I've been really disappointed in the mammoth bestsellers Higgins has come out with recently, but KHUFRA was written back when he was at the height of his narrative powers. Lean and mean, he was then.

Jack J said...

Gee, man! The last time you took a break off this blog you stayed away for two yrs or so, and now you're doing it again. LOL. IT'S TIME TO COME BACK! Your blog is too cool to bury. Come back, Shane!