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The Seventh of December: The Czarina's Necklace Kindle Edition
About the Author
- ASIN : B08N54D8RW
- Publisher : MoshPit Publishing; 2 edition (7 December 2020)
- Language : English
- File size : 1920 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 353 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 322,241 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from other countries
5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Garrick Jones...well done!!
Well-written character driven wartime novel, set during London's Blitz in the early 1940's when what could be bombed by the Germans was bombed without mercy. The main character of the story, Australian Tommy Haupner, was somewhat of an over-achiever I have to say 😉, being fluent in several languages, an accomplished musician, a Spanish Civil War hero and the leader of several groups of men who frequently went behind enemy lines in France, Germany and all over Europe to disrupt the German and Italian war machines. He was also a very lonely man, and although not one to turn down an opportunity when it arose, knew that he wanted to meet that one special person who would make his heart beat faster...and I'm happy to say he did 😍.
Loved the Royal Family threads, the start of US involvement in Intelligence gathering, and the blackmail/traitor storyline. Of course, as this was wartime, there were character deaths too...both good and bad, and I particularly liked young 15 year old Luc, the Resistance fighter. There were a few typos and missed words, but I suspect that was the fault of Manifold Press. Have to say I'm very happy that I didn't live in those times...everyone seemed to smoke a helluva lot, and I hate that habit 😕.
The novel is illustrative of what readers encounter in all of the author’s work: outstanding writing, well thought out plotting with accurate historical detail, realistic characters (lesser persons are given the same distinctiveness as the major ones) all of whom act with clear motive and with considerable personal values. They all (except for the antagonists) are characters about whom readers will care. Jones also presents true to life dialogue and vivid setting descriptions. Jones’s pride in being an Australian and in his country’s contributions to the world (which are all too frequently overlooked) are on display in the novel as usual for his writing, as well.
The author’s descriptions of London during the blitz by German warplanes are especially terrifying, convincing, and soul shattering. Readers are likely to not only be shocked by the author’s depictions of the helpless deaths of so many innocents, often without warning, and the potential, hideous annihilation the British bravely faced in London in 1945, but, unfortunately, will may also reflect upon the fact that such deadly and destructive war-like acts around the globe did not end with WWII.
As with his other novels, Garrick Jones also introduces into his story the contribution of gay men to society and part of THE SEVENTH OF DECEMBER is given to a budding relationship and love affair between Tommy Haupner and Captain Heinrich Reitner, from Boston, Massachusetts. Tommy, with little experience in expressing his sexuality and without having known the value and impact of truly loving another person, is “disarmed” and pretty much falls head over arse for the tall, flirtatious American (who is given the ironic nickname of Shorty) and whose beauty is equally matched by his personality, intelligence, aptitude, and bravery. The love story Jones depicts between the two throughout the novel is credible and in keeping with the disposition of the two men. Likewise, the author clearly goes out of his way not to display explicit sexual acts inconsistent with the characters’ relationship. Additionally, Jones also explores the discrimination against gay men during the period as well as the comradery and ways some found to get around both legal and societal bigotry and the allies who accepted them as they were.
Above all, however, THE SEVENTH OF DECEMBER is a riveting story of espionage set against a WWII background. Although Tommy, Michael, and Shorty find themselves behind enemy lines, on a dangerously, deadly enterprise, Jones all but abandons the romance when Tommy, “‘nested’ within the British army structure, while still a member of the Australian army,” with keen senses and a much needed command of his skills, tenaciously goes it alone on a secret, private mission with national and even possible international repercussions which gets him entangled in a pernicious web of secrets, deceit, and death. Readers are bound to find their adrenaline escalating with every twist and turn of events.
Throughout THE SEVENTH OF DECEMBER perceptive readers are bound to take note of Jones’s narrative voice. As with his other works, Jones provides readers with a clean, composed, lucid account of events be it while bombs fall on London, during scenes involving British high society, the recitation of historical information, or when characters are thrust into dire situations when the most lethal of events occur. It is a narrative voice that makes all of the novel’s proceedings convincing and a voice readers will consciously or subconsciously trust. Jones is steadfast in delivering only the best journey for his readers.
The conclusion of THE SEVENTH OF DECEMBER could not be better fashioned, is exciting to the core, and is quite satisfying. Although complete as a stand-alone novel, THE SEVENTH OF DECEMBER in some ways does cry out for a sequel and the novel’s cover makes it clear this is but Book 1 of “The Seventh of December Series.” On his website Jones states volume two of “The Seventh of December Series,” X FOR EXTORTION: 14 MANCHESTER SQUARE, will be released in late June/early July 2021. The release is truly something to anticipate.
The author has clearly done a lot of research, vividly portraying life in London during the blitz, and clandestine SOE operations in France--though there were a couple of historical errors that fans of historical spy fic will catch. There is a dinner meeting with Bill Donovan at Clardige's the 2nd week of December 1940, during which he's described as the head of the OSS, the new American intelligence organization--however, at the time he was an individual "unofficial envoy" of President Roosevelt, and had no organization. In reality, Donovan started putting together an intelligence organization in July 1941, and that organization was subsequently renamed the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in June 1942. Also, it's stated a couple of times (Feb-March 1941 in the story) that the American embassy had been moved to Vichy, and therefore the American characters wouldn't have a diplomatic resource in Paris; but in reality only the ambassador went to Vichy in 1940, and the embassy in Paris remained open until May 1941.
Aside from that, the story feels authentic. Although the author has taken liberties with the timeline of American involvement in WW2 clandestine operations, it feels realistic, and is mostly done in a believable way that serves the story well. I enjoyed this book, and look forward to the sequels.