“I read this book as soon as it came out. It was the first of a number of revisionist takes on the RAF’s performance in the early years of the war. It’s set in the period between 1939 and 1940, and the Phoney War (French: drôle de guerre). We were sorely unprepared for it. Above all, the RAF was sorely unprepared for it. The novel casts a fairly jaundiced eye upon what happened to the men in Hornet Squadron. They’ve been shipped out to northern France. In the book’s opening pages, Squadron Leader Ramsey lands his Hurricane after a trial flight in broad daylight and ends up nose down in the slit-trench. He tries to get out of the cockpit, falls, breaks his neck, and dies. He’s replaced by a New Zealander called Squadron Leader ‘Fanny’ Barton. Within a couple of weeks, he shoots down what he takes to be a two-engine enemy aircraft and realises rather late in the day that it’s a Blenheim, one of our own.” Read more...
The Best World War II Thrillers
Thriller and Crime Writer