The Blood of Others (by Graham Hurley)

Graham Hurley’s latest thriller, “The Blood of Others,” is a gripping and suspenseful novel set in Northern France during World War II. The novel is part of the “Spoils of War” collection and is a thrilling blend of fact and fiction (see review of previous book in series). The story follows ordinary people who are caught up in the horrors of the war, and it explores the themes of courage, betrayal, and sacrifice.

The novel opens in the summer of 1942, as the Nazi occupation of France is tightening its grip. The novel is a blend of fact and fiction, and the author does an excellent job of creating a tense and suspenseful atmosphere throughout the story.  The book follows Abwehr intelligence officer Wilhelm Schultz as he baits a trap to lure thousands of Allied troops to their deaths in the Summer of 1942. George Hogan, a devout young Canadian journalist who is covering the war in Europe, becomes involved in the story as he tries to uncover the truth behind Schultz’s plan. But perhaps the most important character is Louis Mountbatten – friend of Royalty, Churchill, and foreign dignitaries. Mountbatten uses Combined Ops to mount incursions into enemy territory. Some are successful but others are catastrophic. His ego drives him to more daring missions, and the book revolves around a mission to attack Dieppe and its environs. Everybody but Mountbatten foresees the forthcoming disaster. However, nobody is prepared to tell him to about the mission.

Schultz’s mission is to fortify Dieppe to repel the Allied Forces, and Schultz backstory is interesting with rival Reich departments vying for prominence. Hogan on the other hand is an aspiring journalist favoured by Lord Beaverbrook. He covers the build-up to the Dieppe raid and is aware of the forthcoming disaster. Most of the landing forces are Canadian, and he is terrified by the outcome. The raid is unsuccessful and the body count is terrible. He tries to report the incident accurately but British propaganda relays it as relatively successful Shades of Putin??

The plot is engaging, with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. The historical accuracy of the novel is also impressive, with the author providing a vivid and realistic portrayal of life during the war.

Hurley’s writing is taut and suspenseful, and he does an excellent job of bringing the characters to life. The novel is full of memorable scenes, and the reader is left feeling both horrified and inspired by the story. However, the novel loses momentum after the Dieppe raid, and although ends are tied up the novel ends with a whimper after such drama.

“The Blood of Others” is a powerful and moving novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it. It is a must-read for anyone who loves historical fiction or thrillers.

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