The Stainless Steel Rat (Harry Harrison)

Every now and then you read a book and think “this would make a good film”. This book would make a good film. I could even place half of Hollywood’s famous actors in different parts of it.

The story is sci-fi but with all the best sci-fi I have read it could easily be applied to today’s world. In a society with planets of varying riches and sophistication, our lead character is one of the few remaining criminals. Quite what happens to all the wealth he is accumulating never becomes part of the story. He is caught quite early by another criminal turned policeman and recruited into a secret interplanetary anti-crime organisation. Who better to catch a criminal than a criminal. Our lead criminal is a nice criminal, in that he has never killed anyone in all his heists. However, his first assignment is to catch a criminal that has no regard for the life of anyone leaving death by the hundreds trailing behind.

There are so many details and twists in the story it was a joy to read. One thing I’ve noticed about a good book – it never dates. This was written in 1961.

Rootie Rating a clear 5 out of 5, and I found two others in the series too!

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