I think a lot of good writers from a generation or 2 ago have been forgotten. There are plenty of books in my library which are not considered "classics", and yet are very good reads. This is one of them.
WHEN EIGHT BELLS TOLL
copyright 1966; 250 pages
"The Peacemaker Colt has now been in production, without change in design, for a century." This first sentence, followed by a description of the Peacemaker's destructive capabilities, as our narrator looks down the barrel of one, it is an exciting introduction to a fast-paced story of modern piracy off the coast of Scotland.
Ships containing valuable cargo - gold bullion - have been disappearing, and the British Secret Service has sent a small crew disguised as a surveying crew to discover why. The plot twists and turns, people on both sides of the action are killed off, and Mr. Maclean keeps his readers hooked from the first page to the last. At 250 pages, it's a fast read.
I thought this book would make an excellent movie, but I'm too late. While checking Amazon to ascertain that it's still in print (and it is!), I discovered that it was made into a movie 40 years ago. No matter. Hollywood, are you listening? Remake this movie. Don't put the CGI and unrealistic action into it. Just tell the story, because it's a good one. Meanwhile, you should all read this book. It's a fine expenditure of time!
(And I took a picture of the book, but misplaced it, so here's another picture of a tree.)