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Attack Alarm [Paperback]

Hammond Innes
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

22 Jan 1999
A thrilling adventure story: the only story of the Battle of Britain written on a gunside under fire.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New edition edition (22 Jan 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330342347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330342346
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 11 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 912,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Mr Innes is a marvellous storyteller, probably the best we have got" (Spectator)

"Hammond Innes must be one of the best tellers of the straightforward adventure in a harsh, well-researched setting" (Financial Times)

"Thank goodness for Hammond Innes. He gets better with every book" (The Times)

"The British have always been good at producing adventure story writers. Hammond Innes was exceptional even within an exceptional breed..he was...a romantic adventurer in the style of Rider Haggard, Robert Louis Stevenson and Rudyard Kipling" (Guardian) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A thriller set against the unforgettable summer of 1940, the finest hour of the British Air Forces --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars attack alarm 7 Feb 2010
I have yet to read a book by Hammond Innes which I did not enjoy. Although a very early sample of his work, it is well worth the time to read. The atmosphere of war time Britain comes threough very clearly. Although highly unlikely in its basic idea, (fifth columnists!), Innes manages to pull it off and carry the reader along.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read 24 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you enjoy a good fast story this will be a good book for you. Hammond Innes is one of my favourite post war writers. He portrays his chacters well and keeps the story moving.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars full on and furious 25 Mar 2013
Great story teller. This novel really does draw you in with the pace and fury of the action. The author paints such a convincing portrait of the action that the reader feels that he or she is a part of it. Fabulous.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hint of things to come..... 8 Aug 2009
By H. Jin - Published on
'Attack Alarm' was one of Innes' first books, written when he was a young gunner in WW2. Drawing on his wartime experience, Innes uses the Battle of Britain as the backdrop to a planned German assault on English airbases aided by fifth columnists. When his gun crew shoots down a German bomber, Barry Hanson overhears the downed pilot boast of a planned aerial attack on English airbases, only to stop dead when he spots the base's librarian, Vaile. With his suspicions about Vaile ignored by his superiors, Hanson must rely on his own wits and the assistance of WAAF Marion Sheldon to find out the truth.

In the dedication page, Innes apologises for the rushed nature of the book, noting he composed it during his time serving in WW2. And it is true that at this early stage, his storytelling ability is not fully developed yet, and the more epic scope of his later works is absent. However, his knowledge of the workings of an airbase in wartime is used well, describing several German air attacks in exciting fashion. And even at this early stage some Innes trademarks are present. Barry Hanson is the typical Hammond Innes protagonist; an ordinary "everyman" who unwittingly gets dragged deeper and deeper into a larger conspiracy. WAAF Sheldon is no mere love interest, she's a capable and resourceful heroine who risks punishment to help Hanson. And Vaile is an intriguing character who may or may not be an antagonist. Given the only evidence against him is a German pilot shooting his mouth off, we're never sure whether Vaile is a Nazi spy or innocent fall-guy. The mid-book confrontation between Hanson and Vaile muddies the waters further, and it's only at the end that we learn the truth.

'Attack Alarm' doesn't quite have the depth and skill of his later books, but the combination of warime action and fifth-column intrigue works well. If you can allow for some rough edges, it is as good a place as any to introduce yourself to Hammond Innes.
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