The Thirty Nine Steps, John Buchan’s groundbreaking espionage thriller featuring spy Richard Hannay, has been called the first great espionage novel. It has been embraced by each new generation and shows no sign of losing popularity.
Richard Hannay arrives in London on the eve of World War I, where he meets an American agent seeking help in stopping a political assassination. Before long, Hannay finds himself in possession of a little black book that holds the key to the conspiracy — and on the run from both the police and members of a mysterious organization that will stop at nothing to keep their secrets hidden.
The book has formed the basis for a number of film adaptations, notably: Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 version; a 1959 color remake; a 1978 version which is perhaps most faithful to the novel; and a 2008 version for British television.