‘The new blockbuster thriller from Graham Hurley,
The Blood of Others shows the horrors of
World War Two in Northern France‘
The Blood of Others by Graham Hurley publishes with Aries/Head of Zeus July 6th and is ‘set against the Dieppe campaign of World War Two‘. Graham Hurley has sold over 800,000 copies of his novels and is published in several languages. His last wartime thriller, Katastrophe, published last year and was named as one of The Times’ Thrillers of the Year in December.
The Blood of Others is part of the SPOILS OF WAR Collection, a thrilling, beguiling blend of fact and fiction born of some of the most tragic, suspenseful, and action-packed events of World War II. From the mind of highly acclaimed thriller author Graham Hurley, this blockbuster non-chronological collection allows the reader to explore Hurley’s masterful storytelling in any order, with compelling recurring characters whose fragmented lives mirror the war that shattered the globe.
[ About The Blood of Others ]
A catastrophe no headline dared admit.
Summer 1942. Abwehr intelligence officer Wilhelm Schultz is baiting a trap to lure thousands of Allied troops to their deaths.
George Hogan is a devout young Canadian journalist who has caught the eye of press baron Lord Beaverbrook. Now he faces an assignment that will test both himself and his faith to breaking point.
Jackie Wrenne, meanwhile, is working in Lord Louis Mountbatten’s cloak-and-dagger Combined Operations headquarters and is privy to the boldest cross-Channel raid yet conceived.
Three lives interlinked by a name and a date that no Canadian will ever forget: Dieppe, 19 August 1942. At dawn, over six thousand men storm ashore on heavily defended French beaches. Barely hours later, less than half will make it back alive…
[ Extract ]
(Context: On the evening of 18th August 1942, George Hogan, a young Canadian reporter on the Daily Express, joins the command destroyer in Portsmouth Harbour. The task force will sail for Dieppe in barely an hour…)
‘Mr Hogan, sir?’ The press officer was tapping his watch.
Time to go.
Aboard HMS Calpe, space – once again – was at a premium. Hogan was one of only two reporters on the destroyer, both assigned to a young Lieutenant called Boyle, whose twenty first birthday happened to fall tomorrow. He led Hogan upwards through a warren of passageways until they finally made the top deck. Here, he was briefly introduced to General Roberts, the Canadian in charge of the assault. Known as ‘Ham’, he cut an impressive figure amongst his gaggle of radio operators. With his greying hair and firm jaw, he’d direct the landing from this tiny space. The radio operators were already passing a stream of written messages but Roberts somehow found the time to enquire briefly about life in the Maritimes.
‘Any further east, son, and Canada would start to run out. Ever think about that?’
Back on deck, still nursing his kitbag, Hogan stood at the rail. Below, on the quayside, he recognised the figure of Mountbatten. He was wearing the uniform of a Vice-Admiral, and he was surrounded by pressmen and a camera crew. Hogan recognised some of these faces from previous assignments, and Hogan marvelled at Mountbatten’s nerveless self-possession as he moved easily amongst them, a word of encouragement, a pat on the arm, a murmured good luck before they embarked on their respective ships. If the war could be fought by exchanges of this kind, Hogan thought, then it would have been over and won without a shot being fired.
At half past seven, an RN limousine swept to a halt on the quayside beside the destroyer and a senior officer got out. He spared HMS Calpe a single glance before hurrying up the gangway and disappearing below. This, explained Boyle, was Commander Hughes-Hallett who would be in charge of all naval assets. Already, matelots had gathered to prepare the mooring ropes fore and aft for departure, and moments later Hogan felt the throb-throb of the ship’s engines. She sailed on time at 20.00, and Hogan lingered at the rail as the dockyard and then an older Portsmouth slipped by. From the harbour narrows, Hogan could see the sudden spread of the Solent, flanked by the Isle of Wight, and Calpe paused beside the Spithead anti-submarine boom to salute the entire fleet as it sailed east towards the darkening sky. Perfect formation and bang on time, he thought. First blood to Combined Ops.
Down in the wardroom, Hogan finally dumped his bag. He’d be snatching an hour or two of sleep later, curled in the corner on the thin carpet, but for now Boyle had one more port of call in mind. Three sets of steel ladders led to the bridge. The lighting was already dimmed but Boyle talked him through the displayed map of Dieppe. Each of the six landing beaches were colour-coded, including the flanking commando attacks on the big gun batteries, and the map was covered with pencilled annotations. Hogan took a step closer, squinting in the half-darkness: ‘possible light gun’, ‘roadblock’, ‘anti-tank position’, ‘house strengthened.’
‘This is recent intelligence?’ Hogan had his pad out.
‘No comment,’ Boyle was smiling. ‘We’ve learned to trust our elders and betters’.
Hogan nodded, turning his attention to three sheets of typed paper which appeared to serve as a script for the coming hours. Every next action was carefully time-tabled. At 05.10, Hogan was to expect ten minutes of bombardment from seven of the fleet’s eight destroyers. 05.20 was designated zero-hour for the main landings, while 11.30 would see two squadrons of Flying Fortresses and a busy swarm of Spitfires bombing and strafing nearby Abbeville airfield.
Scarcely a minute of the coming day had been left to its own devices, and in the face of such confidence Hogan was left with a feeling that nothing could possibly go wrong. Because it was written down, because it had a presence on the page, this schedule of events was surely foolproof.
Before he turned away from the typed schedule he noticed an abbreviation he didn’t understand.
‘NT?’ he asked Boyle.
‘Nautical twilight, Mr Hogan. Navy-speak for the darkness before dawn.’
“Any war, by definition, always offers twin points of view on the same set of events. And so, I invented a young Canadian journalist, George Hogan, who grows up in New Brunswick town of Newcastle. In Germany, meanwhile, Abwehr Major Willi Schultz – no stranger to The Spoils of War – is using his intelligence skills to analyse the pattern of Combined Ops expeditions and hatches a plan to lure Louis Mountbatten’s finest into the most lethal of traps. In every respect, thanks to the misfortunes of war, the jaws of this trap close around Mountbatten’s Canadians and the resulting story, from dawn to dusk, is history.” – Graham Hurley
Pre-order Link ~ The Blood of Others
[ Bio ]
Graham worked for ITV for fifteen years as an award-winning documentary director/producer. Networked documentaries included the discovery and filming of the seabed remains of the Titanic; Richard Branson’s near-fatal crossing of the North Atlantic in a hot-air balloon; an investigative account of the Brighton bombing; four freezing weeks in the high Canadian Arctic exploring the last of the Eskimo culture; plus, revisionist documentaries on the retreat to Dunkirk (Comrades in Arms) and the post-D-Day thrust into Europe (The War Within).
Graham is the author of the acclaimed Faraday and Winter crime novels. Two of the critically lauded series were shortlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Award for Best Crime Novel. His Spoils of War Collection thriller Finisterre was shortlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.
Website ~ grahamhurley.co.uk