The jagged blast of high explosives rip through the evening air. In the sky over East London the searchlights criss-cross in search of the enemy.
About the Author
Mike Hollow studied languages at Cambridge, then worked for the BBC and then Tearfund. Now a freelance writer and editor, he lives in Basingstoke with his wife Margaret. A popular poet, his work has been widely performed and has appeared in many collections.
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Direct Hit based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
1940. The Blitz is devastating London. After a bombing, the body of a young woman is found by rubble, but it soon becomes apparent she did not die in the bombing. She was murdered. Detective Jago leads the investigation. Finding someone who really knew Mary Watkins isn’t easy. The more he learns, the more tangled the mystery becomes. Everyone seems to have secret lives they don’t want to divulge. No one is heartbroken by Mary’s demise, but she’s said to be a nice, caring person. And it seems someone may want to aid Germany. Mike Hollow takes the reader on a tour of rubble-strewn London, giving a glimpse into the reality of living in a war zone. All the references to streets and places may be more meaningful to someone familiar with London, but in all, Fifth Column is a captivating who-done-it well painted with strokes of history.
Mike Hollow in his new book, “Direct Hit” Book One in The Blitz Detective series published by Monarch Books introduces us to Detective Inspector John Jago. From the back cover: The jagged blast of high explosives rips through the evening air. In the sky over East London the searchlights criss-cross in search of the enemy. On the first night of the Blitz, a corpse is discovered in a van in the back streets of West Ham. Detective Inspector John Jago recognizes the dead man as local Justice of the Peace Charles Villiers. But then a German bomb obliterates all evidence. Villiers, not a popular man, was both powerful and feared. As the sirens wail, the detective must start matching motive to opportunity – and it doesn’t help when his boss foists an intrusive American journalist on him. Jago soon discovers the dead man held many secrets, some reaching back to World War I. A lot of people wished Villiers dead – and an air raid is a good time to conceal a murder. History and mystery are a perfect combination to really get the blood going. World War II and the bombing raids on London called The Blitz, (which is why Jago is The Blitz Detective). During one of the raids Jago and his partner find a body which they recognize. However the entire crime scene is destroyed by falling bombs. The victim was not a well-liked individual and the list of suspects grows. Now Jago has to go through the possible suspects with all their motives to figure out which one of them did it. “Direct Hit” is a very exciting book that will keep you engrossed in the characters as well as life in England in 1940. I think Mike Hollow is an extremely talented writer who really knows how to tell a story that will grab you and keep you flipping pages until you find out who did it. I am already looking forward to the next book. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Monarch Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This is not a fast paced action novel. The style is a bit plodding and yet very readable and one that makes the reader want to read on. The way the story is written, characters drawn and fleshed out, and the setting of London during the Blitz all lend authenticity and readability to Direct Hit. Students of World War II history will recognize the Blitz as a major event in Hitler's war on Europe and England. London is a city beset with the life-toll of shortages, air raid sirens blasting, fear brought about by their involvement in WWII. Also running through society at this time is the strong under-current of brooding and breeding communism. Amidst war and social unrest, life goes on for Detective Inspector Jago who is embroiled in finding who murdered Mr.Villers. During his investigation he uncovers a variety of criminal situations. As a reader that enjoys historical fiction, it was a good read to see how Mike Hollow described London during these treacherous days. This story only covers a short period, but each day is eons long as the clock of war charts their course. DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by Kregel Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions herein are mine alone. I received no compensation for this review.