The Whip Hand

The Whip Hand Laconic private eye Rex Canning has accepted the apparently straightforward job of tracing a young German au pair Never one to avoid trouble Carver becomes entangled in a dangerous game of internatio

  • Title: The Whip Hand
  • Author: Victor Canning
  • ISBN: 9781848580824
  • Page: 469
  • Format: Paperback
  • Laconic private eye Rex Canning has accepted the apparently straightforward job of tracing a young German au pair Never one to avoid trouble, Carver becomes entangled in a dangerous game of international espionage and double dealing.

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      Published :2019-06-07T05:26:55+00:00

    About " Victor Canning "

  • Victor Canning

    Victor Canning was a prolific writer of novels and thrillers who flourished in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, but whose reputation has faded since his death in 1986 He was personally reticent, writing no memoirs and giving relatively few newspaper interviews.Canning was born in Plymouth, Devon, the eldest child of a coach builder, Fred Canning, and his wife May, n e Goold During World War I his father served as an ambulance driver in France and Flanders, while he with his two sisters went to live in the village of Calstock ten miles north of Plymouth, where his uncle Cecil Goold worked for the railways and later became station master After the war the family returned to Plymouth In the mid 1920s they moved to Oxford where his father had found work, and Victor attended the Oxford Central School Here he was encouraged to stay on at school and go to university by a classical scholar, Dr Henderson, but the family could not afford it and instead Victor went to work as a clerk in the education office at age 16.Within three years he had started selling short stories to boys magazines and in 1934, his first novel Mr Finchley Discovers his England, was accepted by Hodder and Stoughton and became a runaway best seller He gave up his job and started writing full time, producing thirteen novels in the next six years under three different names Lord Rothermere engaged him to write for the Daily Mail, and a number of his travel articles for the Daily Mail were collected as a book with illustrations by Leslie Stead under the title Everyman s England in 1936 He also continued to write short stories.He married Phyllis McEwen in 1935, a girl from a theatrical family whom he met while she was working with a touring vaudeville production at Weston super Mare They had three daughters, Lindel born in 1939, Hilary born in 1940, and Virginia who was born in 1942, but died in infancy.In 1940 he enlisted in the Army, and was sent for training with the Royal Artillery in Llandrindod Wells in mid Wales, where he trained alongside his friend Eric Ambler Both were commissioned as second lieutenants in 1941 Canning worked in anti aircraft batteries in the south of England until early 1943, when he was sent to North Africa and took part in the Allied invasion of Sicily and the Italian campaigns At the end of the war he was assigned to an Anglo American unit doing experimental work with radar range finding It was top secret work but nothing to do with espionage, though Canning never discouraged the assumption of publishers and reviewers that his espionage stories were partly based on experience He was discharged in 1946 with the rank of major.He resumed writing with The Chasm 1947 , a novel about identifying a Nazi collaborator who has hidden himself in a remote Italian village A film of this was planned but never finished Canning s next book, Panther s Moon, was filmed as Spy Hunt, and from now on Canning was established as someone who could write a book a year in the suspense genre, have them reliably appear in book club and paperback editions on both sides of the Atlantic, be translated into the main European languages, and in many cases get filmed He himself spent a year in Hollywood working on scripts for movies of his own books and on TV shows The money earned from the film of The Golden Salamander filmed with Trevor Howard meant that Canning could buy a substantial country house with some land in Kent, Marle Place, where he lived for nearly twenty years and where his daughter continues to live now From the mid 1950s onwards his books became conventional, full of exotic settings, stirring action sequences and stock characters In 1965 he began a series of four books featuring a private detective called Rex Carver, and these were among his most successful in sales terms.He died in 1986.


  • Originally published on my blog here in November 2000.This thriller, though not terribly original, must rank as one of the best written of all Victor Canning's novels. Certainly, it is easily the best of those I have read. It is a well written, well characterised first person narrative; only the hackneyed nature of the plot lets it down.The narrator is a sarcastic and cynical private investigator. Such narrators are hardly original - in this case, I suspect that the original is probably Len Deig [...]

  • Meh. Fast-paced according to the blurb but kind of yawn-inducing for me. A lot of blathering and following people all over the place.

  • Enjoyable mid 1960s private detective yarn with loads of intrigue and European travel from London to Brighton, Paris, Dubrovnik, the island of Mljet (which appears to be paradise), Venice and the Austrian Tyrol, as Rex Carver is set the task of following a beautiful German girl - a job he's only too pleased to undertake, while trying to unravel the motives of those who sent him and others who seemingly have the same target, but who work for other powers. Definitely a cracking read from an author [...]

  • Not a bad book, but gosh, is it over-written, or what? I enjoy Victor Canning's work, as his plotting is good and his characters easy to warm to (even the nasty ones!), but the first book in his four-series Rex Carver novels is a highly complex affair that seems to use obfuscation as a cover for a relatively thinly drawn plot. Carver's task of tracking down and following a pretty German girl is made overly complicated by the world and his dog being interested in finding her alongside Carver. The [...]

  • The writing style in this book makes it worth the read alone. The plot isn't bad though I had a hard time keeping track of all the interested parties. Basically a private eye is hired to follow a missing au pair by a rather shady character. As time goes on the PI realises absolutely everyone is interested in this woman and her benefactor - pretty much every government and some private organisations are asking him to report back to them and/or threatening him. The protagonist has no idea what it' [...]

  • It started well, along the standard lines for a gumshoe tale. MI5, CIA, Ruskies, Germans, mysterious blondes, all the classic ingredients for a bit of sleuthing but somehow about 50 pages from the end it all got very muddled and the story seemed to lose its way and simply ran out of steam. Disappointing.

  • A unjustifiably neglected gem of the genre, which starts slowly and finally reveals a conspiracy that could throw a continent into turmoil and the characterisation is superb! Mr Carver is a gem and I wish all his four outings had been resurrected than the unsatisfactory half that number

  • Canning's detailed descriptions of objects and characters is remarkable. One of the most under rated authors.

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