This book picks up the story from the end of The Last Boat as Jack and Saul are travelling across London in the blackout for a meeting at the Soviet Embassy. I’m careful about mentioning things from the plot as some of you may not have read the first two books (you’re missing out!). The book works as a stand alone all the same, so if you like the idea of the Russian Embassy intrigue more than the Jersey setting, you have all options 🙂
The opening chapters can be read here: http://bookShow.me/B014T1KEX8
Here is my review:
A brilliant third part in the series. I’ve been eagerly waiting for this book and was not disappointed. The way the plot and the characters move around Europe is nothing short of inspired.
The novel has excellent atmospheric and authentic settings, depicting the war times and the dangers of being a spy really well; it has great and gripping characters that spice up the pages; and there are a lot of unexpected turns and twists.
Hanley has started this series with a great premise: a plot based on fact but written as fiction. In this instalment we’re moving into a new direction, making this more of a spy thriller in historical setting (not just because Ian Flenming becomes part of the plot). Hanley serves fascinating background information of historical value blended with an imaginative plot that keeps a suspenseful narrative in the voice of our often reluctant hero Jack Renouf. He’s a great character with a worthy supportive cast.
Fans of thrillers will like this as much as fans of historical fiction since this is full of action and well researched. I look forward to both, more of Hanley’s historical knowledge and the unpredictable plot.
The first in this series, “Against The Tide”, is an amazing piece of literature that was my reading highlight of some time. I happened across it on twitter and was hooked on the series right away. Here is how it all starts:
Set on the small island of Jersey between France and Britain in 1939 it paints an authentic and amazing picture of Europe and the World before the outbreak of the war.
Jewish refugees from Romania, a Dutch businessman, people with communist leanings, British fascists and a lot more characters crowd this story and make it a colourful and engaging read.
Jack, our protagonist, is part of a water polo team where he clashes with Dutchman Rudi Kohler, who seems to catch the eye of Jack’s girlfriend Caroline. Jack toys with the idea of going with Rachel instead. Besides this personal rivalry there are political and economical uncertainties that create further tension in the powder box that is Jersey. Torn between the horrors of Franco and Stalin all of the characters have their own ideas and agendas: communists, Jews, Fascists, businessmen and bankers.
The balance between historical facts and personal tragedy is well kept and ensures we never lose interest, the times bring out the best or the worst in everyone while the world seems to hang in balance waiting to spin of its axis.
I have read my share of books set in the times and I found “Against The Tide” particularly well crafted in its portrayal of the times and its characterisation.
This is as close to six stars as you can get. Very well done and highly recommended.
Website with all purchase links: http://www.johnfhanley.co.uk
Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/johnhanleyauthor?fref=ts
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6565356.John_F_Hanley
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/John-F-Hanley/e/B009SMTYTY/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0