Richard Hannay: he is the main person in the story. He lives in London, but he thinks that his live is very boring and that nothing exciting would happen in his life. Then one day he becomes a visitor named Scudder.
Franklin P. Scudder. He is an American man, he tells his story to Hannay, about some spy's and a murder that will happen on 15 june, and if he don't evade this there will start a great war. The hostile is the Greek prime minister.
The 3 Spy's: these are the “bad guy's” in the story, they ain't got names, there reader know them as the spy's, one of them is tall, the other is fat, and her boss is an old man that could hood his eyes like a hawk. They seem to be German.
Sir Walter: He is the only allied person that Hannay has. He is the only one who believes the story from the spy's and the murder. He helps Hannay to find and catch the spy's.
Richard Hannay lives in London, he is living a boring life, since one day. A man named Franklin Scudder visited him, and told him a fascinating story, about a Murder of an Greek prime minister, and what would happen if the spy's called “Blackstone's” realize her plan. At first Richard didn't believe him, but then some day's later he finds the dead body of Scudder in his own Flat. He was murdered by the German spy's he supposed. Then he thought very fast, he remembered that Scudder had shown him his black book, which contains all the information about the story, but there were codified. Then he thought that if the spy's know about scudder, they also known about him, and so he has to escape. Leaving his flat with the help of the milkman who gave his clothes to him...
After leaving the flat, he went to the Train station. He took a train to the south, but in the half of the way, the train stopped at a station, there he left the train and gave the ticket to a boy, and bought a new ticket to the north… he stayed a some time in the train, but then he got scared and thrown himself from the train, into a moor. He continued his escape buy foot. He only has to hide till 15th June, to warn the Greek minister.
He walked along a road until he found a man fishing on a bridge in front of an hotel. He talked to him, and the man told him that he was the owner of this hotel, but that he don't like that kind of business, he wanted to be an Storywriter. He liked to hear story's, Hannay told him his story and the man listened very interested. Finally he helped him and gave him a room in his hotel. Richard slept some hours, in the morning he woke up
Up by a noise, a car has parked in front of the hotel, it was the car of the spy's who were searching Richard, but the hotel owner lied to them, they drove away. “But they will return” said Richard, and so he told him to call the police tomorrow in the morning, he also told him that they were the murder's of Scudder. At the next day, in the morning the spy's returned, when they entered in the hotel, Richard escaped thru the window, and he stole the car of them, and continued his way to the south. He continued some hours driving at the street, but then he heard an airplane over him, probably the spy's or the police he thought. So he decided to crash the car and continue escaping thru the wood's. After passing one night at the moor, he sawed that he was trapped because he was surrounded by the spy's, and the only escape from the moor was the street. Richard sawed a man working at the street, he talked to him, he told him that he was to tired to continue working but that he have to work because this afternoon a road inspector is going to control his work. Richard offered him to continued the work for him, he accepted. They changed the clothes and Richard started to work, with this clothes and work he could pass the “enemy line” of spy's without being recognized. He continued till the evening, when the road inspector passed to control the work. After returning the clothes to the real roadman he continued his way. After some time he reached at a little farm house with some kind of tower. In front of the house there was an old man sitting in his chair, he talked to him, but Richard made a mistake, that old man was the boss of the 2 spy's. and so he was being trapped and the looked him in the backroom, they wanted to know how much he knew about the hole story, but Richard lied to him telling that he don't know what they are talking about. They left him alone for a while, in that time Richard found some explosives in a box at the room, he decided to blow up the wall and run away, and so he done it. After the explosion he could run to the woods because there were to far away and the spy's could see him running to the wood's. Richard climbed up to the tower and spend the afternoon there hoping that they won't find him.
In the night he got down and escaped into the woods, but he recognized that the spy's still were searching him with the plane, so he had to be careful. In the next day's he walked through the moor and woods.
Then he reached a little village and there he found his first and only allied person, Sir Walter, he told him all the story, from the murder of Scudder till the farmhouse. He also gave him the black book that now was no more codified. But it was too late, the Greek prime minister was shoot that morning, but they was time enough to stop the spy's escaping to Germany with the military secrets they have stolen, but the didn't knew where they would catch her ship to Germany, then in team work they tried to discover the secret of the thirty nine steps, which were the stairs of a house at the beach in the north, were exactly at 10:17 were half tide. So they resolved the problem in team work and drove to that little village in the north, were probably the spy's were living. When they reached the village Richard found the house with the thirty nine steps, and they called the police, they surrounded the house. But they waited for the final ok. Richard was not sure if the 3 persons in the house were the spy's because they don't look like spy's, they looked more like normal persons on vacation. Richard entered in the house to be sure that this 3 persons were the spy's. The Policeman waited outside for Richard's signal. Richard talked to the three man, they invited him to ply cards, he was surprised and also wired about that behaviour. He played cards with them, meanwhile he was asking himself if he was wrong with his opinion about this man, if he was making a mistake in arresting these man. But then he saw how the old man hood his eyes like a hawk, and then he remembered him. He blow his whistle, that was the signal for the police, in the same moment the light felt out. The man tried to escaped, but after a fight, the police caught them all. They evaded that the military secrets left England, but the war was inevitable. Two weeks later started the first world war.