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Thursday 10 May 2018

‘South Atlantic Requiem’ by Edward Wilson

Published by Arcadia Books,
18 March 2018.
ISBN 978-1-911350-31-6

Edward Wilson has moved to 1982 for his latest spy thriller.  The machinations of politicians and diplomats are laid out as they attempt to prevent war in the South Atlantic.   Robert Catesby is Wilson’s protagonist - a senior British spy whose remit includes South America.  Budget cuts mean that he has only one agent in Argentina.  Fiona Stewart is a Cambridge student who is in love with a dashing Argentinian polo player who is also a military pilot flying aircraft armed with Exocet missiles for the Military Junta.  She helps to build a picture of Argentina in 1982.

Catesby moves from the thankless task of persuading the leaders of the British government that an Argentinian attack on the Falkland Islands is likely to the equally frustrating task of making a settlement to avoid war and loss of life.  Catesby moves around Europe, the USA and South America at speed meeting some fascinating, often monstrous characters.

The details of undercover work and the complexity of diplomatic negotiations are fascinating and convincing to read.   The inevitability of events that many readers will remember add authenticity and pathos to the story.  The author does remind his readers in the acknowledgements that this is a work of fiction and does not portray real people
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
This book is the latest in a series of clever spy stories by Edward Wilson.

Edward Wilson was born in Baltimore, Maryland. His father, a merchant sailor, died when Edward was just six months old, leaving Edward's mother to raise him and his two brothers. He did his secondary education at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (A previous student at Poly was Dashiell Hammet, the inventor of the hard boiled detective novel), before going on to the University of Virginia on a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps scholarship. A few weeks after graduating from university, Edward was commissioned as a second lieutenant of infantry. He did the basic course at Fort Benning followed by parachute training, he then applied for Special Forces and completed the SF officers’ course at Fort Bragg.  He was shipped off to the Vietnam War in the aftermath of the 1968 Tet Offensive as a member of a Special Forces unit. After leaving the army, Edward travelled widely in Canada and Europe. He returned briefly to the United States to earn an MA in English Literature at the University of Massachusetts. He again left the States and became a permanent expatriate, emigrating to the United Kingdom after serving in the Vietnam War. He renounced his US citizenship to naturalise in his new country. Edward has lived in Britain since 1974. He renounced his US citizenship in 1983 and became a British citizen. Edward was a further education lecturer for 22 years. During this time he was an active trade unionist. He was also a member of the Anti-Nazi League and the Lowestoft Trades Council. Edward left full time teaching to devote more time to writing in 1997. Edward has lived in Suffolk since 1976. The county features in all his fiction. He now lives in a remote village. His pastimes include sailing, canoeing, wild swimming, running, tennis and growing vegetables.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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