'[O]ne of the finest novels I have read for some time ... I found Mr Priestley's book utterly convincing ... the settings are so well observed whether they be in London, New York, South America, or Australia. Mr Priestley, indeed, takes us on a Cook's tour of the world and a very knowledgeable guide he turns out to be ... the book is packed with vivid little portraits of people and places that have all the note of the unexpected which makes them ring authentically true.' - Burns Singer, Listener
'Vivid, fast-moving, crisp as an air ticket to a rare and unlikely destination ... a novel that reads, as they say, like a bomb, and sets the reader pondering once again over its author's exuberant and richly grooved imagination.' - Sunday Times
'Mr Priestley's new novel is immensely entertaining and the fun and excitement give point to the seriousness of the conclusion. Saturn Over the Water has the pace of the best Buchan, together with some of the SF qualities of Professors Hoyle and Lewis; and above all the moral - or rather spiritual - values of the late Charles Williams ... Mr Priestley has added a secret something of his own and created a potent and exhilarating punch.' - John Davenport, Observer
Tim Bedford, a young English painter, has made a promise to his dying cousin to find her husband, a scientist who vanished while working on a top-secret project in South America. The only clue is a scrap of paper with a scribbled list of words and a curious symbol resembling a figure 8 over a wavy line. As he follows the trail from Cambridge to New York to the sultry streets of Lima, the remote Peruvian desert, and the volcanic coast of southern Chile, Bedford finds himself facing danger at every turn. The action and suspense build towards a thrilling climax in the mountains of Australia, where Bedford will uncover the truth behind a sinister conspiracy that threatens the entire world ... but can it be stopped, or is it already too late?
One of the most popular and critically successful of J.B. Priestley's later novels, Saturn Over the Water (1961) is a fast-paced and clever mix of adventure, mystery, and science fiction that remains, as David Collard writes in the new introduction to this edition, 'an entertaining and marvellously eccentric jeu d'esprit'.