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Thursday, 13 October 2016

Gordon John Thomson - Gotha

review written and read live on bookshow 13th Oct 2016 by Brian Lowen

Another great story from GJT that covers the two world wars.

The title refers to a large bomber built by the Germans in WW1 that was going to terrorise Londoners by bringing the first blitz to the great city. It could fly higher than the British fighters and carry several high explosive bombs.
We have to remember that this was back in the time when aircraft were still in their infancy and this biplane bomber could only fly at 75 mph but was still a great threat to the poorly defended people of England.  I had never heard of this aircraft so had to look it up but it did exist and did bomb London and other cities in the south east during the first world war.
Our hero though is Captain James Buckingham who is recuperating after being severely injured in the battle of Delville wood. The Minister of Munitions, Winston Churchill, hears of Buckingham’s expertise in aircraft design from his work before the war and brings him into his office to advise on this new threat and how England could be protected against it.
However, the story starts off in 1940, in the midst of the blitz in London when a young WAAF officer is trapped in a street near St Pauls as fire bombs rain down. She is rescued by a strange enigmatic man called Max who drags her into a cellar, but they become trapped in there by falling masonry.
The story then oscillates from war to war and we gradually learn of the strange connection between the two events.  Meanwhile, back in 1917, James Buckingham meets and falls in love with Daisy Skellern who is a beautiful music hall entertainer. When she is brutally murdered he is accused of her murder and has to hide away with the help of Daisy’s young dresser, Amy, until he can work out who was the murderer. He gets involved with a German spy ring operating in London and has some narrow escapes with his life, but Amy proves a great help to him in his search for justice.
During all that is going on in 1917 we keep going forward to see how our trapped pair are faring and this is when we gradually realise the connection between the two events, one in each war. GJT shows his great skill as a story teller as he gradually reveals the secrets of the two couples.
A great page turner this, full of interest and excitement, that keeps you enthralled the whole way through.

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