book reviewed live on bookshow by Brian Lowen 13th June 2013
Historians of the Second World War have hitherto omitted to mention that the first British raid on German occupied France took place within four months of Dunkirk.
The landing took place at the small fishing village of Granville on the Normandy coast.
The landing party consisted of a Detective Sergeant of the Metropolitan Police, a young French woman and an ugly mongrel called Formidable. They were considerately brought ashore from a nearby island by the Germans themselves.
So goes the blurb on the cover of this book and you know then that you are in for another hilarious heart-warming tale from LT.
George Ormerod was the police Sergeant in question and while the war is being lost all around him, he remains obsessed with the tracking down of the murderer of a young woman in Wandsworth. He discovers that the villain, Albert Smales was part of the expeditionary force that fought in France and Ormerod finds out that he is in a military hospital in France and this is how he gets to go to France, thinking he is being sent to track down Smales, but the real reason is to help the attractive young Marie-Therese Velin to start up resistance groups across France.
We follow them as they blaze a trail through Normandy, eventually finishing up in France.
Leslie Thomas takes us through the other side of war as seen from the civilian point of view.
War has not yet really touched the sleepy countryside of Normandy and Marie-Therese has difficulty in stirring up any emotion amongst her fellow Frenchmen who are quite content to carry on their normal rural existence.
Leslie Thomas has that knack of telling a story that includes all the right ingredients – thrills, love, humour, pathos and local interest. A rollicking good yarn and thoroughly recommended.