About the Book:
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 Villers. But then a German bomb obliterates all evidence.
Villers, 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 Villers dead--and an air raid is a good time to conceal a murder.
“There was no justice in war, and sometimes no justice in peace.” (p. 295)
Detective Inspector John Jago and his colleague Detective Constable Craddock are policemen in the town of West Ham England during the early part of WWII. Air raids and an active draft board have created the perfect storm from which they must attempt to solve a murder. If you can imagine a 1940’s version of a modern-day crime show, then you catch a glimpse into the first book , Direct Hit, in a brilliant series, The Blitz Detective.
I now have another author to add to my list of favorite crime writers! Mike Hollow’s characters, Jago and Craddock, are just men trying to do an almost impossible job of policework – all the while ducking into bomb shelters with the hopes of surviving long enough to solve their crime! The other characters in the novel are realistically flawed by the circumstances to which they were born, and the universal themes of fear, greed, vengeance and romance weave together to create a very tangled web for our two detectives to unravel!
Relying only upon gut-hunches and minds sharpened by phenomenal detective skills, Jago and Craddock sift through a mountain of witnesses and discover secrets that are as old as the First World War. Parents are fighting to protect their children – young and old – from a war that seems intent upon destroying everything! Amidst all of the chaos, Hollow inserts a feisty American journalist for good measure, and readers must read frantically to discover the truth at the bottom of the rubble left behind in the wake of unrelenting German bombers!
I am totally enamored by this series, and I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone! Mike Hollow has scored a Direct Hit on my reading list with two very likable English police detectives!
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.