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Tuesday 2 August 2022

‘Basil’s War’ by Stephen Hunter

Published by Head of Zeus,
3 February 2022.
ISBN: 978-1-80110472-2 (HB)

Captain Basil St. Florian is a complex character with a penchant for actresses and a dare-devil approach to life. He joined the special ops of the British intelligence services after he discovered they would both pay him and praise him for doing irresponsible and highly dangerous things.  The time is 1943, and Basil is parachuted into Nazi occupied France, his mission to obtain coded information from a precious religious document. The hope is that the information he gains will unmask a spy operating out of one of England’s most secret intelligence establishments - a spy whose activity has been responsible for the deaths of untold good English agents.

Armed with charm, confidence and a small pistol, Basil makes his way to Paris. Time is short and he shamelessly befriends German army officers, German police officers and even an SS officer in order to fulfill his assignment. After having several narrow escapes, he eventually returns to England.

Like all good classic thrillers, there is a gut-wrenching twist to this tale. Entertaining and amusing though it is, Basil’s War has no shortage of intrigue and complicated plotting. It is a well-written, fast-moving, most enjoyable book that manages to describe the horrors of Nazi occupation without resorting to unpalatable, gory detail. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Reviewer Angela Crowther.

Stephen Hunter  was born in 1946. He won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism as well as the 1998 American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for Distinguished Writing in Criticism for his work as film critic at The Washington Post. He is the author of several bestselling novels, including Time to Hunt, Black Light, Point of Impact, and the New York Times bestsellers Havana, Pale Horse Coming, and Hot Springs.

Angela Crowther is a retired scientist.  She has published many scientific papers but, as yet, no crime fiction.  In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the operas of Verdi and

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