Shadow of the Jaguar – a 1970s thriller novel

Counterinsurgency expert Peter Craig is preparing to travel to Lima to brief the Peruvian security services. Just as he is preparing to leave, a mysterious lunch invitation with a Secret Service officer in London gives Craig a new mission and a whole new set of problems – a missing mountaineer rejected by MI6 and with a point to prove, in a volunteer community with revolution in the air, where little is as it seems.

As an international hostage crisis explodes around him, Craig finds himself fighting for his life in the shadow of the mountain peak that the villagers call the Jaguar as the deadline for a fiendish ultimatum approaches. First published in 1973 as Craig and the Jaguar, reissued in ebook format by Kenneth Benton’s literary estate in 2011.

Praise for Shadow of the Jaguar

“Events and geography blended well in today’s Peru, with politics both protesting and orthodox. Three cheers for a churning story.”
— H.R.F. Keating, The Times, 2.8.1973

“The story line, Tupamaros and guerrilla terrorists fighting the government forces, is strong and exciting, but what makes the book really fascinating are the scenes in the Peruvian high plateau and the Cordillera Blanca.”
— Violet Grant, The Daily Telegraph, 23.8.1973

“In a setting of impressive grandeur, Benton has placed a tightly woven set of complications and conflicts, ending with an equally grand climax. This author is becoming one of England’s best action-suspense writers.”
— San Francisco Chronicle, 4.8.1974

“Benton’s story of high adventure teems with excitement and drama among glaciers, precipitous peaks and the subversive activities of ruthless men.”
— Oldham Chronicle, 27.10.1973

“In an apparent flouting of the Monroe Doctrine, the British have been quietly moving into the South American adventure novel… Benton’s Peruvian blood-curdler is another happy stakeout of the territory. Benton makes a valley in the Andean highlands the cockpit of an intricate conspiracy. His setting is a vast expropriated plantation that is being restructured into smallholdings with the blessing of the landowner himself and the assistance of some Peace Corps types. But could there be a counter-revolutionary diversion afoot? There could be. And you’d never guess who’s involved. Ex-cop Peter Craig is sent out to see what one of his young countrymen on the scene has stumbled into. It’s a small war, as it turns out, in which the advantage keeps changing sides until the very last bang.”
— New York Times Book Review, 23.6.1974