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Simon Tolkien was a successful Criminal Justice barrister in London specializing in serious crimes before moving to California with his wife and two children to take up writing full time. He has been acclaimed as a naturally gifted storyteller with a terrific command of language and a unique perception into the darker sides of human nature. The grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien, with whom he had a very special relationship, Simon Tolkien's writing is set firmly in this world.

Reviews

`Tolkien's writing is quietly impressive; his atmosphere of the blitzed capital superb.' The Times

`Jack Higgins fans will enjoy Tolkien's exciting third suspense novel featuring Det. Insp. William Trave. Heartfelt evocations of the horrors of war, in particular the effects of the bombing raids on Londoners, show Tolkien has upped his game.' Publishers Weekly

REVIEWS FOR SIMON TOLKIEN:

`Half Christie and half Grisham.' Los Angeles Times

`A fine novel. A thinking person's Da Vinci Code.' Chicago Tribune

`A very British thriller ... a page turner.' Daily Mail

Jack Higgins fans will enjoy Tolkien's exciting third suspense novel featuring Det. Insp. William Trave (after 2011's The King of Diamonds), a prequel set in the fall of 1940. As Adolf Hitler and Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the Gestapo, plot to use a mole in British intelligence to further the Reich's ambitions, Trave lands a murder case. Albert Morrison, the ousted head of MI6, has been killed, flung down a flight of stairs by someone Morrison's grown daughter, Ava, who witnessed the crime, could not identify. Trave's oafish superior, Det. Chief Insp. John Quaid, quickly settles on Ava's husband, Bertie, as the killer, since Bertie had a pecuniary motive for his father-in-law's death. Trave isn't so sure, a feeling that's only heightened as he tries to learn more about Morrison's work. Heartfelt evocations of the horrors of war, in particular the effects of the bombing raids on Londoners, show Tolkien has upped his game. Agent: Marly Rusoff, Marly Rusoff Literary. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

As German bombs light up 1940 London by night, Deputy CI John Quaid and his assistant, William Trave, are called to a murder scene: the ex-head of Britain's MI6 has been killed. Quaid decides the villain has to be the dead man's son-in-law. Trave is not so sure. Why did the current deputy head of MI6, Alec Thorn, seek out his former boss? Thorn, for his part, hates his aide, Charles Seaforth, in part because the latter runs a double agent in Hitler's inner circle. And in Berlin? Hitler, who would prefer to invade the Soviet Union, tasks Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Gestapo and the SD (the SS's intelligence branch), with eliminating Churchill, the main man keeping England in the war. Their agent? A mole high up in MI6. -VERDICT Tolkien's fourth novel (after The King of Diamonds) is a well-told story with a few questionable features, among them the revelation of the assassin's identity at midpoint, which lessens the suspense. Still, historical thriller fans will enjoy the sleuthing into the potential assassin's motivations, the conflicts between characters, and the well-researched portrayal of war-torn London.-Ron Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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