Author: Iain Colvin
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Dates read: 10 Dec 19
Publication date: 30 Jul 19
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Thriller
Craig Dunlop is bored. Bored of his job, his town, his life.
After a family bereavement, Craig inherits an old heirloom; a wallet given to his grandfather during the war by none other than the deputy leader of Nazi Germany, Rudolf Hess.
The wallet has hidden a secret for forty years, and when Craig stumbles upon it, a chain of events is set in motion that lead to him becoming a hunted man.
Finding himself in a race to unravel a mystery that could shake the very foundations of the British establishment, Craig must find answers before the police catch up with him, or worse still, he is made to disappear forever, along with the secret of The King’s Prerogative.
*I received a copy of this book courtesy of Authoright and Clink Street Publishing as part of their 12 Days of Clink Street Publishing Blog Tour*
I’ve read a few Clink Street novels this year and have discovered some new authors and stories I would have otherwise never have read. While I am an avid thriller reader, I am not usually a reader of historical fiction, so this was something a little out of my comfort zone. I am really glad I participated and read this story full of fascinating historical moments told at a fast pace that twists and turns throughout the thrill ride that is the novel.
The novel starts with the crashing of Rudolph Hess’ plane in Scotland, with the story picking up 40 yrs later with the grandchild of a recently deceased gent who found Hess. The plot centres around Craig and the wallet he receives in his Grandfather’s will. He had no idea of the value of the contents until an accidental spillage revealed something hidden, and the plot develops and thickens as we discover more about the contents of the message(s) within the folder, and who they are written by and for the eyes of. I know an embarrassingly small amount about Hess, his position, and his notoriety, so reading about him and his importance/the theories surrounding the crash and his position were fascinating and eye-opening, in both a historical and narrative context.
Craig himself straddles determination and naivety to become the ideal protagonist to follow. While the book is told from more than one point of view, we follow the story largely over the shoulder of Craig, discovering things as he discovers them and we largely run and travel with him. He really follows the more classic idea of running from both law enforcement and a negative entity that is eluded to and develops as the story progresses and I really felt that he bordered intelligence and stupidity really well. There is a definite sense of not trusting the police (for obvious reasons given the fake identity of an ‘officer’ early in the plot) which I think it something many can relate to, but he then blindly trusts friends and family with information that inevitable comes back to bite him.
The negative entity, which I took to calling Blake and the force behind him, was an ever present and increasingly powerful force. Throughout there is a sense that there is more at play on both sides, the intrinsic pieces of the novel being supported by historical events underpinned the book to give it expected and sometimes unexpected direction. I really liked what Colvin did with historical events and liked how historical figures and moments were used to create a thriller and, to a point, a mystery novel.
I really enjoyed this historical thriller, and loved how actual historical figures and moments were weaved with the author’s narrative to create a complex and thrilling novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it and think anyone who is a fan of historical thrillers should definitely give this a go!