Published: Sharpe Books
The Western Front has descended into trench warfare. In the East an opportunity arises for the Allies to bypass the stalemate.
Desperate to preserve a truce in his sector of the front and with it the lives of his men, Johnny Swift a reckless former diplomat is caught warning the Germans of a trench raid.
Sir George Smyth, Swift’s former superior has negotiated a stay of execution. In return, Swift is dispatched to Constantinople on a perilous mission to bribe the Turkish government and open the backdoor into Germany.
This does not stop the disgraced diplomat enjoying the delights of the orient, while trying to negotiate the labyrinthine power struggles within the Turkish government.
Swift uses all his guile to complete his mission, but finds his efforts blocked by his old friend and nemesis Lazlo Breitner, now an official at the Austro-Hungarian Embassy.
The agent moves from the drinking dens at the crossroads of the world to the opening battles of the Gallipoli campaign – and with it a chance to redeem his reputation.
I thoroughly enjoyed this, the 2nd thriller featuring Johnny Swift, a novel which centres around the Dardanelles conflict of World War 1.
Showing some of the grim realities of the time, the story opens on the western front, where Johnny is caught trying the warn the Germans of an upcoming raid. Subject to court martial Swift is only saved on the understanding that he undertake a perilous journey to Constantinople to persuade the Turkish government to withdraw from the war,
The story is a wonderful blend of fact and fiction told in a way that shows the harshness of the period and does not try to glorify in any way, it is clear from reading that the author has undertaken extensive research into the period and this comes clearly across as you read the book.
The writing is clear and concise and combines to make an excellent read, you get a real sense and feel for the times and locations and the hardships and dangers endured.
Swift comes across as a somewhat flawed character, somewhat of a charmer and ladies man, a bit of a chancer, however you are always on his side
The pace of the book is spot on, The battle scenes are wonderfully drawn out, and the whole feel of the of the book is superbly descriptive, you also get a sense of class with the characters
The book does have its moments of romance and humour which lighten the story, the book has a natural flow and pace to it, the storytelling os wonderfully crafted
Would recommend, and I will be seeking out book one in the series and look forward to the further adventures of Johnny Swift