5 APRIL 1957, Page 28

It's a Crime

Top Secret. By Leonard Halliday. (Hammond, Hammond, 10s. 6d.) The first thriller, surely, to have as hero a former Manchester Guardian reporter is suitably well-written, and there is much mountaineering, about which many MG men, since C. E. Montague's time, have been knowledgeable. The climbing, both in the Salzkammergut and in Skye, seems excitingly to be the real stuff; the secret-agent plot is tol-lol; and there is a wry, astringent, very twentieth- century love affair, and a sardonic ending. Altogether, a highly commendable novel of action.