Tuesday 18 June 2024

The Eye of Horus - Ken Lussey

Fifth book by Ken Lussey released by Arachnid Press released 18th June 

Ken Lussey returns with another tale in his RAF series featuring Bob Sutherland and secret agent Monique

Starting the series in 2019 and based around the true story of the mysterious death of King George VI's cousin, Duke of Kent, Lussey took historical fact and weaved in an interesting premise of a detective with life skills imperative to tracking down the truth and one not without his obstacles to overcome. Bob Sutherland our loyal captain and main protagonist was a fine pilot with many messerschmidts as notches on his belt, yet a flight one night during the Battle of Britain cost him the sight in his left eye grounding him permanently from the war effort but still able to fly in daytime. 

Sutherland found his calling belonged in the Military Intelligence Service, and so the series of books have found him investigating cases amidst the rich Highland landscape with his now wife, Monique for company.

The problem any writer of a series would attest to, is the restrictions of their limited landscape has upon a character's growth, the confinement of war and the familiarity of problems may restrict other writers. However, Lussey has overcome this with great initiative. 

One book in the series was entitled, The Stockholm Run, where Bob and Monique took on the guises of Mr and Mrs Cadman to take over 

The new book starts us off with the couple in good spirits having just got married in secret. They are in the midst of enjoying their honeymoon - time away from work, relaxing as best you can during a war - yet that tranquility gets disrupted when an old friend of Bob's tells him of a missing relative on the island of Malta. Having been missing for nearly a week with no rhyme, reason or body to show; the colleague asks Bob and Monique to go to the island via Gibraltar and investigate.

Combining elements of war-time set films such as The Guns of Navarone and The Third Man; Lussey weaves another welcome addition to the Sutherland Series. Lussey's eye for historical period detail gives the reader a history lesson (such as the note that a third of young children died in Malta in 1942 due to the aerial bombardment and lack of medical supplies entering the island - sounds familiar as war carries on in the Middle East) and a reminder of how privileged we are to live in peace time in our country currently.

By the book's end, Lussey has again concocted a thrilling cat and mouse thriller helped by the limitations of the small island's geography and the ever impending threat of an aerial attack by the German air force.

For fans old and new, my hope is that these books do find the larger audience they so richly deserve.

The Eyes of Horus is out from Arachnid Press on Tuesday 18th June on all formats. 

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