North Africa, 1942- an elite British Army unit is on a deadly mission
Steven Pressfield is a bestselling historical novelist whose books include the classic Gates of Fire, Alexander: The Virtues of War and The Afghan Campaign. He lives in Los Angeles. His official website is www.stevenpressfield.com
An elite British commando unit goes behind enemy lines, aiming to undermine the crack Afrika Korps. Astonishingly, it's based on fact. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
After five novels about conflict in ancient times (Gates of War, etc.), Pressfield effortlessly gives fresh life to wartime romance and the rigors of combat in a superior WWII thriller. Framed as the memoir of a British officer, the book is based on an actual British plot to assassinate the "Desert Fox," German field marshal Erwin Rommel, during late 1942 and early 1943 in North Africa. The author painstakingly sets the stage for later fireworks by charting the prewar career of R. Lawrence "Chap" Chapman, especially his relationship with the brilliant but doomed Zachary Stein, Chap's tutor and mentor at Oxford. Chap also falls in love with sexy Rose McCall, whose brains and brass later get her posted to naval intelligence in Egypt. As a young lieutenant, Chap joins the team assembled to go after Rommel. Pressfield expertly juxtaposes the personal with the historical, with authentic battle descriptions. Crisp writing carries readers through success, failure and a final face-to-face encounter with Rommel that's no less exciting for knowing the outcome. (Apr.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
"A terrific read - gripping from start to finish...this is historical fiction at its very best" -- JAMES HOLLAND "A splendid tour de force, one that brings to life the heroism, sacrifice, tragedy, frustration, fear and - yes - thrill of war" * WASHINGTON POST * "No one writes better historical fiction than Steven Pressfield" -- VINCE FLYNN "Readers of Steven Pressfield know that his stylish and meticulous novels of battle can rise as far above an often dismal genre as Patrick O'Brian's. After two tales of Alexander the Great, he shifts epochs - without any softening of his flinty, rhythmic and laconic prose - to dramatise an episode of the Desert War in North Africa...Presented as the memoirs of a highly literate publisher, this account of the clandestine operation "where a single individual might make a difference" shuns false heroics to paint the true face of irregular war in the wilderness" -- Boyd Tonkin * THE INDEPENDENT *