As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
New reviews are posted daily, but to search for earlier reviews please click on the Mystery People link below and select 'reviews' from the welcome page. This will display an alphabetic option for you to find the review you would like to read
For PREVIOUS REVIEWS- Click on MYSTERY PEOPLE below -
No Exit Press, 6 June 2019. ISBN:
The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare was how Winston Churchill
described the Special Operations Executive, a collection of mavericks who were
dropped behind enemy lines to offer help to resistance fighters during the
Second World War. It provides fiction writers with a rich seam to mine; its
operatives worked 'off the books', and getting results was deemed far more
important than playing by the rules – especially since Hitler rewrote the rules
to suit himself – so it's easy to invent missions for them.
Howard Linskey's protagonist
Captain Harry Walsh is one of those mavericks. Promoted on the battlefield,
gentleman he certainly is not, though he has his own code of honour, which
includes short shrift for bureaucracy and the kind of authority that has an
inflated sense of the importance of having attended the right school. Harry is
prepared to break every rule in a library of books when he is sent into France
to assassinate a German scientist who has come far too close to perfecting a
secret weapon which might make a difference to the outcome of the war.
Linskey creates a scenario
which is totally alien to most people: a motley bunch of resistance fighters or
Maquisards with varying degrees of skill, holed up in squalid conditions
and determined to make life as difficult as possible for the occupying forces.
He uses documented history to add colour and realism, and though some of the
characters are instantly recognizable from a hundred war movies, they still
emerge as genuine people.
Harry Walsh himself is a
troubled soul: a survivor of what amounted to a massacre at Dunkirk, a marriage
that's pedestrian at best but with no chance of escape, a self-important boss
who regards him with contempt. As if that wasn't enough, he's hopelessly in
love with feisty fellow operative Emma Stirling, who appears unexpectedly
shortly after his own arrival in France.
It all adds up to a pacy,
dramatic adventure behind enemy lines, complete with explosions, bombed bridges
and railway lines, kidnapping and shoot-outs. There's even a generous sprinkle
of name-dropping: real-life people like Ian Fleming and Kim Philby, whose
association with SOE is well documented.
Will Harry complete his
mission? What will become of him and Emma? Will the Allies win the war? We know
the answer to one of those questions. For the other two you'll have to read the
book.And it's well worth reading.-----Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Howard Linskeyhas worked as a barman, journalist, catering manager
and marketing manager for a celebrity chef, as well as in a variety of sales
and account management jobs. He has written for newspapers, magazines and
websites on a number of subjects. The Drop was Howard’s debut novel,
published by ‘No Exit’ in 2011.Originally from Ferryhill in County Durham, he
now lives in Hertfordshire with his wife Alison and daughter Erin.
Lynne Patrick has been a
writer ever since she could pick up a pen, and has enjoyed success with short
stories, reviews and feature journalism, but never, alas, with a novel. She
crossed to the dark side to become a publisher for a few years, and is proud to
have launched several careers which are now burgeoning. She lives on the edge
of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with books, about half of them crime