`Coward's amusing episodes of derring-do and the tragic waste of life on both sides ... it seems there's a deeper layer to Coward than mere cheek, spunk and bluster' Dan -- Gwynne Jones, Literary Review
`Very funny, and always delightfully non-PC' -- GQ
A literary equivalent of Saving Private Ryan ... a fine ear for dialogue
-- Andrew Roberts, Mail on Sunday
Extremely funny... very moving. The research is exemplary, and like the best historical fiction, woven seamlessly into the narrative. Truly compelling. -- James Holland, Sunday Telegraph
Impressive and enjoyable... A very entertaining journey ... a rattling story, full of action and laughs and gut-wrenching fear ... Roll on Vol.2 -- Marcus Berkmann, Daily Mail
Tempered by the carnage of war, Dick's antics have more meat and less sauce than those of his antecedent Flashman, whose racy adventures Delingpole creditably updates -- James Urquhart, Financial Times Magazine
`Gripping yarn for men who don't want to go to sleep' -- Daily Echo
vigorous, witty and elegant... a welcome corrective to the Spielberg-Hanks version and promises a lot more excitement to come. Jolly good show, Delingpole -- Spectator
From the Author
Airfix models; War Picture Library; The History Channel; anything by Max Hastings or Antony Beevor; Steve McQueen leaping over the fence in The Great Escape; Quartered Safe Out Here; "Broadsword Calling Danny Boy"; the first twenty minutes of Saving Private Ryan; Sven Hassel; "Don't tell him, Pike"... If any or all of those things rock your boat, then you'll probably love the Dick Coward series.
But I didn't just write it for the boys. The thing that pleases me about my books more than anything is the incredibly enthusiastic response they get from women. (You'll find a few being nice in the reader comments section and I promise I didn't make them up). I daren't venture to suggest why, except that some of the sex scenes are quite lively and the insights into the workings of the male brain as honest as I could make them. It's also, I hope, because even though the Coward series will contain an awful lot of fighting, I've tried never to lose sight of the fact that what counts most in a novel is character and relationships.
My Coward books are meant to be by turns dark, funny, moving and as historically accurate as I can reasonably make them.
What they were never meant to be is a Flashman rip off. I love George MacDonald Fraser and he's definitely an inspiration, but even the most cursory reading of Coward will reveal to you that he's not a Flashie-like cad or bully. The idea I did nick from GMF was having historical footnotes at the end. As with Flashman, I want you to come away from each book having had not just a rip-roaring read, but also a delightfully painless and fascinating history lesson.
Coward On The Beach - like all the series - is based closely on real events. This one concerns the extraordinary but little-known action fought by the men of 47 RM Commando the day after D-Day when they marched 12 miles behind enemy lines and captured a heavily defended, strategically vital port town held by crack troops outnumbering them three to one. I have interviewed and befriend several of the survivors and have woven their experiences into the story.
One more thing. Coward is not meant to be "tongue-in-cheek". I don't do tongue-in-cheek. It's why I always hated the A-Team.