The Hill of the Red Fox

Allan Campbell McLean

Price:
£6.99
Availability:
Available to buy

Quick Look

  • Long journeys, mysterious strangers and a web of danger
  • During a holiday on Skye Alasdair finds himself in the middle of a espionage adventure
  • A classic Scottish children's spy thriller

It is the Cold War and Soviet spies are feared. Alasdair stumbles into a web of espionage on the Isle of Skye.

Format:
paperback
Size:
198 x 130 mm
Publisher:
Floris Books
Subject:
Kelpies
Age Range:
From 11 to 14 years
Extent:
336 pages
ISBN:
9781782502067
Publication date:
16 Jul 2015
Series:
Kelpies
Edition:
3rd edition

Description

It is the time of the Cold War. Soviet spies are feared, and secrets are traded. People disappear.

Thirteen-year-old Alasdair, living in London, knows nothing of this world. He can't wait to start his long summer holiday on the Isle of Skye, away from his mother and aunt.

But things don't go quite as planned. On the journey, a stranger gives him a mysterious note before jumping from the train. Worse still, he instantly mistrusts sinister Murdo Beaton, with whom he's staying. Gradually adjusting to crofting life, Alasdair is not prepared for the web of danger and espionage that unfolds around him. Can he trust anyone?

Reviews

'It all starts when Alasdair is on the train from Glasgow to Mallaig en route for Skye, the birthplace of the father he scarcely remembers. On board he encounters two men, each chilling in his own way, who leave the train in dramatic fashion and leave Alasdair with a crumpled note saying ''Hunt at the Hill of the Red Fox MI5''. Allan Campbell McLean's classic thriller is as exciting today as it was fifty years ago.'
-- Jane Sandell, The Scotsman

'This is a boy's adventure book. It is set on Skye in Scotland and brilliantly brings to life the islands, countryside and people. It is nicely paced and the adventures in it are a cross between Enid Blyton and a young Bond.'
-- Sophie, age 13, Education Otherwise, June 2006

'Allan Campbell McLean set a standard for thrillers for young readers and The Hill of the Red Fox has stood the test of time remarkably well, even allowing for the Soviet vs West Cold War background. Actually, the slight sense of innocence surrounding things is an attraction.'
-- School Librarian, Summer 2006

'A magnificent adventure story. It recalls Stevenson and Buchan ... the reader should be swept away by the swift narrative, the splendid vision and the magical atmosphere of Skye which pervades the story."
-- Times Literary Supplement

'The Ordinance Survey sheet of North Skye will be a stimulating aid to the reading of this novel, which has the same lovingly detailed location as McLean's later The Master of Morgana. It is an espionage thriller strongly influenced by The Thirty-Nine Steps and with tinges of the early Ian Fleming. The story, which is mainly one of male fellowship and strength, climaxes violently in the self-sacrifice of Duncan Mor, a man of Fingalian heroic stature and character. The crofting environment is integral to the action, with sympathetic descriptions of communal activities such as peat gathering, mackerel fishing and sheep shearing.'
-- Treasure Islands: A guide to Scottish fiction for young readers aged 10-14, Summer 2003

'The Hill of the Red Fox is one of my favourite childhood books ... this is an altogether superior spy story.'
-- Allan Campbell

Author

Allan Campbell McLean (1922-1989) was a master of Scottish children's writing. He had a deep love of the Highlands -- he lived in a croft house on Skye with his wife and children for 17 years -- and had a better ear for West Highland dialogue than perhaps any other author. His other books include The Master of Morgana, Storm Over Skye, A Sound of Trumpets and The Year of the Stranger.

Media

Download or print a free Teacher's Guide for this book:
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