Behind the Book and Cover Reveal : ‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black

Today I’m delighted to have on my blog, author of military thrillers, Harvey Black.

Harvey is here to talk about the historical facts behind his novel ‘The Red Effect’ and to reveal the cover. Over to you Harvey …

“Today, West German imperialism is United States’ chief ally in Europe in aggravating world tension. West Germany is increasingly becoming the seat of the war danger, where revenge-seeking passions are running high… The policy pursued by the Federal Republic of Germany is being increasingly determined by the same monopolies that brought Hitler to power.

The Rhineland politicians fancy that once they get the atomic bomb, frontier posts will topple and they will be able to achieve their cherished desire of carving up the map of Europe again and taking revenge for defeat in the second world war.

One of the most ominous factors endangering peace is the bilateral military alliance that is taking shape between the ruling circles of the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany. This factor remains an objective of unflagging attention.” (Leonid Brezhnev, 23rd Party Congress, March 1966)

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The Cold War and Nitroglycerin had one thing in common, both were stable when circumstances allowed. But, when something rocks the boat, or events are overtaken by Incidents that get out of control, the status quo is lost. The consequence is an eruption that is both violent and lethal.

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The Cold War trilogy will trace the Cold War as it simmers, overheats and eventually turns East against West. The outcome? Start with ‘The Red Effect’ out in April, followed by ‘The Black Effect’ and ‘The Blue Effect’.

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1983: The Cold War has been in existence since the end of World War Two. Although tensions have always been fraught between the Western nations and the members of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact, common sense prevailed.

Until, as a consequence of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, the shooting down of a Korean passenger aircraft in 1983, and the relentless build up of Soviet military strength, everything is about to change.

In a panoramic novel, readers travel from centres of power to the front lines – a war is brewing and events are happening at every angle. Is the Cold War about to turn hot? Can NATO forces endure a mass strike by thousands of Soviet tanks? Can the West survive?

Follow the series of gripping events that culminated in ‘The Red Effect’, in the first instalment of Harvey Black’s Cold War trilogy.

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Harvey Black is a qualified parachutist. Harvey served with British Army Intelligence for over ten years. His experience ranged from covert surveillance in Northern Ireland to operating in Communist East Berlin during the cold war, where he feared for his life after being dragged from his car and attacked by Russian KGB soldiers. Since then he has lived a more sedate life in the private sector as a Director for an International Company, but now enjoys the pleasures of writing.

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Thank you Harvey and very best of luck with ‘The Red Effect‘, I shall certainly be reading it 🙂
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Book Review of Gray Justice by Alan McDermott

gray justice

About the Book

Gray Justice is the fast-paced debut thriller from Alan McDermott. When a killer walks free from court, the victim’s father sees just two options: accept the judge’s decision; or take on the entire British justice system. Tom Gray chooses the latter and his crusade attracts instant worldwide media coverage. It was just what Tom was hoping for, but it brought him a lot more than he bargained for.
Gray Justice is much more than a simple tale of revenge: it’s a roller coaster ride with an ending you’ll never forget!

My Review

At first you could be forgiven for second guessing how the plot might go; an ex-SAS soldier seeking revenge for the unlawful death of his son and subsequent suicide of his wife. Cue ex-SAS guy blasting away with a semi-automatic rifle, car chases, fist fights, killing all the bad guys but ultimately coming out a hero.  Well, Gray Justice doesn’t quite go like that, it tackles the need for revenge in a rather unique way.

Gray Justice is a fast paced, action packed thriller. Yes, there was a shoot-em-up gun battle, explosions and death, but it wasn’t over-done and it was perfectly fitting of the plot.  The premise of Gray’s revenge was very thought provoking and it did make me stop and think. Without giving anything away, the method Gray uses to decide what justice to dish out is something that could prompt a healthy debate over a pint or two.

The ending wasn’t exactly what I was expecting and leaves the door open to the sequels which I shall definitely be reading.

Gray Justice is currently available FREE on Amazon.

About the author

alan mcdermott

Alan McDermott is a software developer from the south of England, married with beautiful twin daughters. When he isn’t creating critical applications for the NHS, he is writing action thrillers.

His debut novel, Gray Justice, has been very well received. The other two books in the series – Gray Resurrection and Gray Redemption – were released in 2012.

Alan is currently working on his fourth title.

You can follow Alan on Twitter through his @Jambalian account.

Alan blogs at http://jambalian.blogspot.co.uk/p/t.html

Up Close by Henriette Gyland

up closeToo close for comfort…

When Dr Lia Thompson’s grandmother dies unexpectedly, Lia is horrified to have to leave her life in America and return to a cold and creaky house in Norfolk. But as events unfold, she can’t help feeling that there is more to her grandmother’s death than meets the eye.

Aidan Morrell is surprised to see Lia, his teenage crush, back in town. But Aidan’s accident when serving in the navy has scarred him in more ways than one, and he has other secrets which must stay hidden at all costs, even from Lia.

As Lia comes closer to uncovering the truth, she is forced to question everything she thought she knew. In a world of increasing danger, is Aidan someone she can trust?

My Thoughts

Really enjoyed this book. A bit of suspense, a mystery and a romance too – all the things I love in a novel.

It took me a little while to warm to the main character, Lia, but as I got to know her better and understand her, I did feel a real empathy for her.  This was actually quite refreshing  as I felt Lia was a very realistic character – just like in real life, it takes time to get to know someone and not until you know them properly, can you form a balanced opinion of them.

Aidan had several layers to his character too and although I was sure I could trust him, the way the plot unravelled had me questioning his actions.

The plot revolved around military issues; the impact of going to war and the after effects which had obviously been well researched by the author.  There were other aspects woven into the plot too, which keeps the reader guessing and trying to put together the pieces to solve the mystery. The clues are there, some more subtle than others, together with a twist at the end.  I don’t want to say much more for fear of spoiling the plot but for those who enjoy romance and suspense, this is one I’d highly recommend and will certainly look out for future novels by this author.

Links for Henriette Gyland

henri

http://henriettegyland.wordpress.com/

ChocLit Publishing

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Got A #Kindle? Here Are My 5 Star Reviews This Year

Not sure what to download to your e-reader? Well, here are the books that got a 5 star review from me this year, together with a few I would highly recommend (click on the book cover for link to Amazon) …

My 5 Star Reviews of 2012

Never Coming Home

Never Coming Home

Sophie’s Turn

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Devils With Wings, Silk Drop

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Devils With Wings, Frozen Sun

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Shades of Appley Green

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Highly Recommend

The Silent Touch of Shadows

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Taking Charge

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Night Watcher

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The Wind Weeps

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Passenger 13 (a novella)

Passenger 13

How Do You Voodoo? (a novella)

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Thank you all for your support of my blog this year – much appreciated

Happy new year everyone and happy reading

Pausing for Thought

Conflicts past and present

“When you walk in peaceful lanes so green – remember us – and think what might have been” 

Frederick Rowland  (Grandad 1908-1982)

Craftsman

REME

Served in North Africa and Italy

Letter home, 21 January 1944, Italy

Thomas Morris (Pops 1914-1970)

Private

Oxon & Bucks Light Infantry

Served in Holland

On a recent trip to London,  I took a detour via Green Park to see the Memorial to the RAF Bomber Command

Very moving to see some personal stories and messages left by families

Devils With Wings, Silk Drop – Harvey Black

This exciting fictionalised retelling of the invasion of Crete is written by an author with extensive experience in army intelligence. It’s the follow up to Devils With Wings, and continues the wartime adventures of Fallschirmjager paratrooper Paul Brand and his Feldwebel Max Grun. On a high after their successful subjugation of Fort Eben Emael, Paul Brand, now in command of his own company, and Feldwebel Max Grun, are parachuted into Greece to help capture the bridge spanning the Corinth Canal. Tough times are ahead when the German High Command decide to invade the Island of Crete. This will be the first ever airborne invasion in military history. The Fallschirmjager, supported by the famous Gebirgsjager mountain troops, are up against 40,000 allied soldiers – who will fight to the bitter end to protect Crete. Operating behind enemy lines, Paul Brand and Max Grun will face challenges that not only tests their fortitude but strains the close bond between them. Silk Drop is a thrilling sequel to Devils With Wings and is based on a factual episode.

My Thoughts

This is the second book in the the Devils With Wings series and my review of the first can be found here.  I really enjoyed the first book so was looking forward to reading Silk Drop – I’m pleased to say it lived up to and beyond my expectations.

From the beginning I felt involved with the story, it was set at a good pace and I had trouble putting it down.  I liked the feeling of being up close to the action, with some very intense scenes depicting personal battles, which had me on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed learning more about the strategies involved in preparing for operations and how these translated in battle.   The setting was described extremely well and again I had a real sense of being there – I could picture  the island and villages clearly in my mind.

Silk Drop also showed the contradiction of war. One minute men are injuring and killing each other, the next when the battle is over, they are caring for the wounded and trying to save the lives of their enemies.  The novel showed the human side of war and the effects it can have on individuals which added another dimension to the story.  I felt very connected with the characters and was concerned as to what would happen to them.

An excellent read with all the things I enjoy – action, tension, great scene setting and characters I became very fond of.

Links for Harvey Black

Blog – http://harveyblackauthor.wordpress.com/

Website –  http://www.harveyblackauthor.com/ 

Twitter – @Black_Author  http://twitter.com/#!/Black_Author

Facebook – Harvey Black  http://www.facebook.com/HarveyBlackAuthor

Harvey is also a member of the Author/Reader group

http://loveahappyending.com/

and

 http://famousfiveplus.blogspot.co.uk/

Devils With Wings : The Green Devils Assault of Fort Eben Emael by Harvey Black

The Blurb

A military thriller based around the adventures of two young Fallschirmjager paratroopers during the early part of World War II. It is a fictionalised adventure based on the famous assault on the impregnable Belgian Fortress, Eben Emael. Tall, gangly Paul Brand is supported by his junior sergeant, Unterfeldwebel Max Grun, as he experiences his first action as a platoon commander in Poland, September 1939. The mutual respect between the two comrades grows as they experience the sights and smells of battle at close quarters Following their success in Poland, Paul, Max and the platoon are sent to a clandestine camp in the foothills of the Harz Mountains to train for a secret mission. Confined to camp for six months they undergo intensive training for their next mission – the subjugation of the Eben Emael Fortress. Two German secret weapons will assist them to complete their task; the first is the glider, used for the first time to deposit troops directly onto a target, and the second secret weapon is a new Hollow Charge Weapon, capable of blasting through steel or concrete. On completion of their training, nine gliders containing seventy two Fallschirmjager land on top of the fortress, before the troops move in to the depths of the tunnels to finish the job. Over one thousand Belgian troops fail to stop them. This exciting fictionalised retelling of the assault on Eben Emael is written by an author with experience in army intelligence.

My Thoughts

Although I have tended to review gentler books on here, I do actually enjoy reading a good action/thriller type of novel, so when Devils With Wings came to my attention it was definitely one to go on my ‘to be read’ pile.

The novel starts off right in the thick of the action and introduces you to the main characters, Paul Brand and Max Grun. After reading the first chapter, I knew I was going to enjoy it.

I liked finding out about the characters’ back stories and how they came to become part of the elite Fallschirmjager. Likewise, it was really interesting seeing what they had to endure throughout their training and I enjoyed getting to know Paul and Max more as they embarked on their highly secretive and daring operation.  The bond between the two men really came through.

The assault of Fort Eben Emael followed each glider’s mission and then the final attack on the fortress. The battle scenes were sometimes graphic but in no way gratuitous and only added to the atmosphere of the book.

Prior to reading this book, I knew absolutely nothing about the Fallschirmjager paratroopers and now I’m quite fascinated by them.  Afterwards I spent time flicking around the web and YouTube looking at photos and documentaries about the real event.  It was good being able to see exactly what the Fallschirmajager were up against and how it had been translated onto paper by the author.

So in summary – fast paced with action and tension – obviously well researched and backed up by the author’s own personal knowledge.  I shall look forward to reading the next book in this series.

(P.S. I think I have a crush on Paul)

Links for Harvey Black

Blog – http://harveyblackauthor.wordpress.com/

Website –  http://www.harveyblackauthor.com/ 

Twitter – @Black_Author  http://twitter.com/#!/Black_Author

Facebook – Harvey Black  http://www.facebook.com/HarveyBlackAuthor

Harvey is also a member of the Author/Reader group

http://loveahappyending.com/

and

 http://famousfiveplus.blogspot.co.uk/