The MacGuffin Review
16th March 2017
Stuart Kortekaas inspects the latest spy story by Bond continuation author, Raymond Benson
MI6, CIA, Mossad and Japanese Intelligence agents, Arab assassins, the Mafia; they all have two things in common. They each desperately want to take possession of a purple case, and are willing to kill for it. The contents of this particular purple hardside Polycar spinner wheel suitcase are unknown, but believed to be highly dangerous, capable of causing thousands of deaths.
This fast moving short story, the latest from former James Bond continuation author Raymond Benson, contains all of the elements that are a hallmark of the 007 series; adventure, danger and sex, with plenty of action sequences and plot twists.
The term MacGuffin, made popular by Alfred Hitchcock, refers to an object or plot device that exists only to move the story forward. According to Wikipedia, the famous film director explained the term in a lecture during 1939 at Columbia University in New York:
“It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men on a train. One man says, "What's that package up there in the baggage rack?" And the other answers, "Oh, that's a MacGuffin". The first one asks, "What's a MacGuffin?" "Well," the other man says, "it's an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands." The first man says, "But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands," and the other one answers, "Well then, that's no MacGuffin!" So you see that a MacGuffin is actually nothing at all.”
Quite appropriately this short story features dark humour and suspenseful situations throughout, which Hitchcock would undoubtedly have enjoyed.
'The MacGuffin' starts off in the baggage claim area of Chicago O’Hare International Airport, with two MI6 agents waiting for the MacGuffin of the story, a mysterious purple suitcase, to appear. As soon as they collect it mayhem ensues, with a fierce battle fought by all of the parties mentioned above as they attempt to obtain it.
Without wanting to give away too much of the plot, the story includes a memorable sequence on a train which to my mind evoked entertaining memories of several iconic films including 'From Russia With Love' and 'North By Northwest'.
'The MacGuffin' can be purchased from Amazon. At only 99 cents, it’s great value indeed!
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The opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of MI6-HQ.com or its owners.