The Most Dangerous Game is a first person narrative novel by English author Gavin Lyall, first published in 1964.
Bill Cary is a bush pilot
living in Lapland
in northern Finland
, making a precarious living flying aerial survey
flights looking for nickel
deposits, and occasional charter cargo flights
of dubious legitimacy in his beat-up old de Havilland Beaver
. Towards the end of the flying season, a wealthy American hunter hires him to fly into a prohibited part of Finland near the Soviet
border in order to hunt bear
. Subsequently, he is assaulted by thugs when he refuses a charter contract to search for a lost Tsarist treasure, comes under suspicion from the Finnish police for smuggling
when Tsarist-era gold sovereigns
start turning up, and from the Finnish secret police
. However, things get more serious when the wealthy American's hunter's beautiful sister turns up to search for her brother, and his fellow bush pilots start getting killed off in a series of suspicious accidents. Carr suspects that the events he in increasingly involved in may stem from an incident in his wartime past.
The plot of the Gavin Lyall novel is totally different from the earlier and arguably more famous The Most Dangerous Game short story about hunting humans as a sport.
Literary significance & criticism
The Most Dangerous Game
was a runner-up for the British Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger Award