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Sunday, 1 December 2013

Mike Williams - The Secret Channel

book reviewed live on bookshow by Brian Lowen 29th Nov 2013 

This book gets a bit of getting used to as every time you pick it up you have to remember that the cover of the book is upside down and back to front!

The story is set mainly on Tresco during the Second World War and tells the tale of the secret trips made by adapted fishing boats from Tresco channel across to Brittany in France to take out and bring back agents involved in the underground resistance warfare against the Germans. Tresco was also a base for MTBs (Motor Torpedo Boats) and MGBs (Motor Gun Boats) which operated from here against the German EBoats.

The hero of the story is Richard Tremayne, the commander of one of the boats who is struggling to get over the loss of his wife who has been killed in one of the bombing raids on Plymouth. He is helped by a pretty young wren and this provides the love interest in the story.

There are good descriptions of the actions that the boats are involved in as they cross the channel with their secret agents but it all seemed a bit glossy to me and I found it difficult to gel with the characters.

The boats steer strange courses through the many rocks of Scilly when to me it would have seemed to be a lot easier and far less dangerous to go straight out of the Northern end of Tresco channel rather than weaving a way through the Northern Rocks. It seems as if the author is determined to show off his knowledge of the islands of Scilly.

Some parts of the book are more like a travel brochure as Richard and his girl friend explore the other islands on their days off. Maybe I am being too harsh, because I live here, but I found this all rather unnecessary.

A good story though if you like tales about the war.

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