February 28th 2023
The role of the armed forces is becoming increasingly uncertain in the post-war world of 1949, and Flight Lieutenant Adam Devon is considering his future as a Spitfire pilot.
Daring and resourceful, his love of flying keeps him in the skies and from travelling home; when the opportunity for promotion presents itself in a shrinking airforce, Devon is pit against the wily Flight Lieutenant Fitzjohn, a man of unscrupulous practices and morals…
His mission in Hong Kong is a dangerous one, and when he meets a beautiful British girl, Hannah, he can feel himself falling for her… Devon and Hannah spend time touring the sights in Hong Kong and love ties them together. But what is the strange secret she carries that stands in the way of their relationship?
Devon’s principles and loyalty are put to the test, in a tale of love, war and intrigue.
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Loved the dramatic build up of the relationship between Fitzjohn, Devon and the mysterious Hannah. Some unexpected turns in the plot and clever conclusion. Great read for Spitfire, historical fiction and romance fans.
I really enjoyed the atmospheric Far East story line, the heat, sunshine and scenery. Great feeling of place and life in the armed forces. Hannah's journey in life is facinating and very much a feature of the times. Unexpected ending!
Robin P (via NetGalley)
This is an absorbing and intelligent novel with engaging and believable characters. The author captures with perfection the atmosphere of the late 1940s when Britain had to reimagine her role in a post-war period.
The plot is clever and compassionate, and the writing has great moments of tenderness, but doesn't flinch from the suspicion, tension and brutality of life in Hong Kong on the wrong side of the tracks.
As well as the love interest, there's plenty of action in the air and the novel throughout has a glorious nostalgic feel.
It had me hooked - what a great read it was, and Mark must be congratulated on his storytelling skills, I really felt I was out there in the thick of the action and found the plot fascinating and couldn't put it down.
Thoroughly enjoyed this well written book. Great plot structure and character portrayal with cinematic descriptions of the fighting to contain Communist China's post-WWII designs on Hong Kong.
Assured debut and beautifully paced, well observed historical fiction. What an enjoyable piece of historical fiction this is. It's the mark of a good book, in my opinion, if it consumes you and in my case I read this over a few days. I found the period chosen really interesting and gained some useful insights into the mindsets of servicemen in the immediate aftermath of WW2. The characters were well developed, believable and the dialogue well observed and historically plausible. Mark writes fluidly and there were plenty of clever plot twists that I didn't see coming at all. I really hope some of these characters get at least another run out as my expectation is that the next Mark Butterworth novel will be even better!
David Worsfold, Journalist and Author
An excellent debut novel with a pacy narrative that engages the reader from start to finish. It has a fine sense of time and place, especially late 1940s Hong Kong. The characters are all well-rounded, provoking a response in the reader as the story ebbs and flows.
There are plenty of twists and turns but they are never confusing or unnecessarily complex: the story always takes primacy.
Amazon Kindle reviewer
Having worked in Hong Kong and the City of London, I readily recognised both the locations and the characters. Well written, good pace and I learnt a few things I didn't know. A great debut and I hope for another instalment.