I don’t usually do this, but I have held back on this review until I’d read the first book in the series, The Berlin Affair.
Why? Because from the start of The Athens Assignment I felt like I had started reading a really good story half way through. Both books together are just 240 pages, the length of a good book.
The Athens Affair is the story of Xanthe Schneider, a journalist for an American magazine, working in London in the early 1940’s at the height of the Blitz.
Xanthe is also a part time code breaker at Bletchley Park, and occasional agent working in occupied Europe.
The story is very much of the type I used to read as a young lad in the Commando Books or Warlord Comics, except these stories are written in an adult manner.
The Athens Assignment sees Xanthe returning to Europe, this time to Greece, in an attempt to help the British Forces locate and destroy the German battleship The Bismarck.
David Boyle makes a great job of taking actual events and weaving a fictional plot around them.
The invasions of Greece by the Germans, the threat posed by the huge battleship Bismarck, the frantic attempts by the British Forces to find and destroy it before it wreaks havoc on the North Atlantic convoys.
He uses names that all readers will recognise to give the story even more credence, with Alan Turing and Ian Fleming making appearances.
This book, or should I say both books, took me right back to the first thing that got me hooked on reading. Second World War fiction woven around actual events.
I started by saying I felt like I had come in half way through a story.
Well, I’ll end by saying I hope I finished the book at least two thirds of the way through a bigger one.
Available on Amazon