Biggles and his squadron are sent on a top secret mission to Calcutta. The Japanese have a new secret weapon and they are using it against British aircraft operating between India and China. Nobody knows what it is, so Biggles and his squadron have been sent to find out. Various British planes have been mysteriously crashing and the pilots killed. They do not appear to have been attacked and the pilots never make any attempt to radio for help or bail out. Is it some sort of secret ray gun or sabotage that is causing this? Biggles has to risk his life by exposing himself to the weapon in order to try to find out what is happening. On one patrol, a Hurricane aeroplane being flown by Thomas Moorven, crashes for no apparent reason, killing the pilot. Biggles parachutes out to go and examine the wreckage of the plane in the middle of the jungle and finds himself in a confrontation with two Japanese soldiers. Biggles has arranged to be picked up by a seaplane in a nearby river and the seaplane is escorted out by a Hurricane flown by Angus Mackail. Angus mysteriously crashes into the river and Biggles pulls him out of the sunken plane. This is the event depicted on the dust cover of the book. Angus is in a coma after the crash and cannot explain what has happened. Biggles continues his enquiries with pilots dying left, right and centre until he eventually hits upon the ingenious secret weapon that the Japanese are using against them. Confronting one Japanese agent, the agent commits suicide by 'hara-kiri' in front of them. However, this leads to the man behind the whole thing, a Japanese businessman called Larapindi. Biggles sets a trap and then raids Larapindi's warehouse in an effort to catch him. Larapindi escapes and reaches an aeroplane but Biggles gets to a Spitfire and is able to shoot him down and kill him.
Very good first edition with slight bruising to top and bottom of spine and foxing along page edges. An unclipped dust jacket with small tears to the top and bottom edges and the previous owner's signature on the inside page.
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