28/01/2009

Lone Pine Five (by Malcolm Saville)

Malcolm Saville was one of my favourite authors when I was a teenager. Although I'm not, in general, a fan of adventure stories, his are very much character-driven and I collected and read almost the entire 'Lone Pine' series over several years. I re-read them all, in order, in the 1980s and wondered if I would ever do so again... last year I decided I would. Not all at once, as I used to, but spread out over many months, interspersed with other books.

'Lone Pine Five' is the fifth adventure in the 'Lone Pine' series for teenagers. It features David (the club captain), his girlfriend Peter (Petronella), and their friends Tom and Jenny as well as the irrepressible twins Dickie and Mary and their dog Mackie. They decide to spend some of their summer holiday camping, and aren't sure where to go when Jenny meets an elderly and rather anxious man. She discovers that he's an expert in Roman treasure, and he suspects that an old spoon she has just been given may be valuable.

So the Lone Piners decide to help. Along the way they meet a most unpleasant trio who are related to the elderly expert, and have some fairly exciting adventures which simply wouldn't happen in today's world. Fifteen-year-old girls don't go and spend an evening with an elderly man in his room, or go off in a car with him; ten-year-old twins aren't allowed to roam around and potentially get muddled up with all kinds of dubious people. But life was simpler several decades ago. I don't suppose today's teens would be very interested in this innocent adventure story of the mid twentieth century, even in this updated 1970s Armada edition, but I still enjoyed it.

I found it rather brief, even for a light teenage novel, but perhaps that's a problem with the abridged paperback edition. Still, I was surprised by one or two unexpectedly moving moments; having not read it for over twenty years, I'd pretty much forgotten the plot.

It made good light reading for a couple of hours; I'm glad I decided to re-read the series. Previous books in the series are: Mystery at Witchend, Seven White Gates, The Gay Dolphin Adventure, and The Secret of Grey Walls. Mostly out of print in paperback, but new facsimile editions of the originals have been produced in recent years, and many of them are available in the UK.

Definitely worth re-reading!

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews 28th January 2009

1 comment:

aliqot said...

I used to love Malcolm Saville boks as well. I'd pretty well forgotten all about them, though. Will look out for some in the second hand bookshops...