A Top Twenty List by David L. Vineyard

   Using the rural or what I like to call the Rough Country definition of “Man on the Run” thrillers, here’s a stab at a top twenty. This comes with the caveat that I’m limiting it to one by each author or it could end up a list of no one but Buchan and Household.

   I’ll start with Buchan since he invented the modern variation on the theme. Of course this is going to be even more subjective than usual. I’m leaving off The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers since it fits all of the qualifications but the hunted man, and Oppenheim’s The Great Impersonation because much of it takes place in an urban setting. First a quick list of books predating the genre that greatly influenced it:

   1. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
   2. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
   3. King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard
   4. The Four Feathers by A. E. W. Mason
   5. The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope

    An asterisk represents a film version — in some cases multiple films:

   1. The 39 Steps by John Buchan (not his best or his first, but the best known book of the type and the model for all that followed) *
   2. Brown on Resolution by C. S. Forester *
   3. Storm Music by Dornford Yates
   4. The Man With the Clubfoot by Valentine Williams
   5. The Nine Waxed Faces by Francis Beeding
   6. Without Armor by James Hilton (a British agent deep undercover in Revolutionary Russia escapes with a beautiful aristocrat) *
   7. Background to Danger by Eric Ambler (the closest of Ambler’s early novels to the classic man on the run theme) *
   8. The Journeying Boy by Michael Innes
   9. Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household *
   10. Horizon by Helen MacInnes
   11. Desperate Moment by Martha Albrand *
   12. Panther’s Moon by Victor Canning (an early example by a fine writer that also has the added pleasure of the hero being hunted while he hunts two escaped leopards in the Balkans with microfilm in their collars) *
   13. The Killer Mine by Hammond Innes (an early example in the classic form)
   14. The Most Dangerous Game by Gavin Lyall
   15. Night Without End by Alistair Maclean
   16. Act of Mercy by Francis Clifford *
   17. A Twist of Sand by Geoffrey Jenkins *
   18. The Rose of Tibet by Lionel Davidson
   19. The High Citadel by Desmond Bagley
   20. A Clear Road to Archangel by Geoffrey Rose

    and for #21 a classic send up of the genre that is also a first class example of the form

   21. Royal Flash by George Macdonald Fraser *

   These aren’t always the best books by these writers, but those that are most representative of the man on the run theme by the particular writer.

   Fairly recently, Sparling Lawrence’s Montenegro is an excellent example of the form.

Editorial Comment: This comes, of course, as a followup to the long previous listing of all “Man on the Run” adventure thrillers posted here a couple of days ago, supplemented by several who suggested additional authors and titles in the comments. It also comes as a reply to “D” who posed the original query, who then wondered which were the best among those which take place in rural or wilderness settings.

   Many thanks once again to David for coming up with this list in a very short amount of time!