1944. Operation Hawkwind has failed to land commandos on Jersey in the Nazi occupied Channel Islands, to kidnap a visiting VIP, but four maverick Allied servicemen and two French Resistance fighters are shipwrecked on its sister island Guernsey while trying to get to England. They are considered for the task, but can they be trusted to work as a team, for their target will be on Guernsey for only 24 hours and the tiny island has over 20,000 troops billeted there?
The opening chapters show their individual exploits while establishing the personalities of US airman CURTIS OLSON, RAF pilot HARTLEY-PENROSE, commando sergeant SAM HAINES, SOE agent ERIC BAKER, and German assassin KARL KRUGER, as they escape capture across war torn France and meet up with CLAUDE and MARIE-CLAIRE in Normandy. The Partisans organise their escape to England in a Royal Navy frigate. Unfortunately, a German coastal patrol ambushes them and all seven escape in a damaged ships’ boat and they drift through the freezing night. Kruger is assumed drowned when they abandon the boat to avoid a floating mine before reaching Guernsey. Islanders shelter them, but not before Baker and Marie-Claire kill an officer while searching for food. An eager young MARTIN helps Baker contact their regiments for help using his hidden Morse code transmitter. A return message informs Baker to meet a secret agent on the ferry from Jersey. She tells him they have to kidnap - or kill - the famous Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox now head of the vital Atlantic Wall fortifications that include the Channel Islands. He arrives tomorrow morning for one day. Rommel’s capture would greatly upset the Germans and enhance the success of the Normandy invasion planned by Churchill and Eisenhower. She hands Baker the coded itinerary of his visit.
By this time, the others are engaged in escaping and he can only contact Haines and Marie-Claire. The airmen have gone to steal a plane and Claude has disappeared. In the morning, Claude talks to the agent on the ferry and dives overboard to join the airmen at the airfield, but they all miss catching Rommel. Baker sees Martin killed when his transmitter is discovered: they are now all in danger of discovery. There follows a mishmash of improvisation when our heroes singly or in changing combinations, attempt to get at Rommel during his inspection of the island’s defences, including: cold-blooded Claude with a sniper’s rifle; Olson and Hartley-Penrose with a helicopter; Haines and Marie-Claire with dynamite during a visit to a quarry; and Rommel chased by Olson on a motorbike and Marie-Claire on a horse. All to no avail. Baker is arrested for the murder of the officer and jailed awaiting interrogation at the military HQ.
At the HQ, they finally work as a team - by fluke as much as design - and snatch Rommel at a secret meeting, only to be trapped outside an underground army hospital. All seems lost, but Karl Kruger, the ‘drowned’ German who has been a patient after being rescued at sea, opens the barred doors. While a shootout takes place inside, Kruger reveals to Rommel that he is on the run after an attempt to kill Hitler, which impresses Rommel who deeply mistrusts der Fuehrer. Escaping via an airshaft, our seven heroes and Rommel hide in the scrubland above the hospital. As they plan to escape from the encroaching troops, Kruger helps Rommel escape from them in exchange for immunity by joining his staff under an assumed identity. His erstwhile friends are captured but escape back to France – to begin escaping back to England once again.
About the Author
Born in Lancashire, England. Began writing at ten-years-old, inspired by school compositions and library-book reading. In those days I wrote Sci-fi stuff (never finished a book as I was always starting a new one), & in mid teens wrote a couple of satirical surreal shorts. But it was in my mid twenties after working in the Australian bush for a mining company and trekking back to the UK across Asia, that I began serious writing. My first published work was about my experiences in Japan for Blackwood's Magazine. Most of my career has been with scripts for radio & TV, screenplays, and stage plays, comedies and thrillers.
I wrote and produced my first movie, the cocky little Gobsmacked! about an old bus broken down in the country and how the passengers got on with each other. A vertical learning curve that was fun right from the start. Followed by Mrs H of Baker Street, the stage farce about Sherlock Holmes’ landlady secretly doing her own detective work. Another joyful experience not to be missed.
A few years ago I began writing novels (all out as ebooks) starting with the WWII heroic adventure series: Operation Hawkwind. Followed by the light-hearted Victorian crime series: The Detective Ladies of Baker Street, and Secret Agent 253, a WWI romantic spy story. I am currently on with an inspiring 'how to' book called: Never, Never, Never, EVER, Give Up, based on my experiences in achieving success. Next up will be an epic Sci-fi novel.
My pastimes are country walking, reading, watching films and plays, enjoying jazz, rock, folk & classical concerts. I am a supporter of the David Lynch Foundation.