Monday, 25 November 2013

The Man from Destiny and The Brave Cannot Yield by Ian Mackintosh (Robert Hale, 1969/1970)

I'm going to try and make this final Ian Mackintosh post shorter than the ones on Mackintosh's first and second novels, A Slaying in September (1967) and Count Not the Cost (also 1967) – and indeed the introductory one on Mackintosh and his most celebrated creation, The Sandbaggers – which shouldn't be a problem since I won't be reviewing the two Mackintosh novels under discussion –


The Man from Destiny, published in hardback by Robert Hale in 1969 with a dust jacket designed by Barbara Walton, and


The Brave Cannot Yield, published in hardback by Robert Hale in 1970 with a dust jacket designed by Kingaby/Keeman – for the simple reason that I haven't read them yet. Even so, it's worth showcasing them, I think, because like A Slaying in September, Count Not the Cost and the third novel Mackintosh published in this formative phase of his writing career, 1968's A Drug Called Power (which I don't own), they're so incredibly scarce they haven't been seen online in this depth before (merely the front of their jackets, in this Mystery*File post). And anyway, given that my reviews of A Slaying in September and Count Not the Cost weren't exactly glowing, and that having flicked through The Man from Destiny and The Brave Cannot Yield I can't imagine I'll respond to them any more favourably than I did their forebears, it's perhaps best for all concerned that I don't review them – at least not for a while anyway.


Let's stick to the certitudes for now then, which are that while The Man from Destiny is a standalone work, starring one Danny Mason, a young man engaged in a war against his twin brother and father's criminal organisation, The Brave Cannot Yield is a sequel – a sequel to a sequel, in fact, being the third (and final) Mackintosh novel to feature private investigator-turned-scourge of the drugs underworld-turned-British secret agent Tim Blackgrove – the others being A Slaying in September and A Drug Called Power. (An aside: I must admit I initially mocked the notion of a private investigator-turned-scourge of the drugs underworld-turned British secret agent being named Tim, but late in A Slaying in September it's revealed that 'Tim' is a nickname, an acronym composed of the first letters of Blackgrove's actual forenames, the first of which, we learn in The Brave Cannot Yield, is Tyrone. Although on reflection, Tyrone is almost as ridiculous a name for a private investigator-turned-scourge of the drugs underworld-turned British secret agent as Tim.)


Other certitudes are that while my copy of The Man from Destiny is in pretty good nick, my copy of The Brave Cannot Yield is an ex-library one missing not only its front endpaper but its first page as well. A shocking state of affairs, obviously – ex-library is one thing, but I can't abide mutilated (by librarians, invariably) books – but one I have resigned myself to on account of it's unlikely I'll come across a better – or indeed any other – copy of it anytime soon. Both books were acquired from the legend that is Jamie Sturgeon, and the covers of both have now been deposited in their respective appropriate Existential Ennui galleries – Beautiful British Book Jacket Design of the 1950s and 1960s in the case of Barbara Walton's fine effort for The Man from Destiny, and British Thriller Book Cover Design of the 1970s and 1980s for Kingaby/Keeman's, ah, idiosyncratic offering for The Brave Cannot Yield.


And speaking of British Thriller Book Cover Design of the 1970s and 1980s, I'll shortly be adding yet more covers to the page...

1 comment:

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

Thanks for the covers and all the ifo Nick - as you say, their scarcity makes this all the more welcome even if they do turn out to be a bit duff as novels!