If you've read my review of the first of Harvey's books (Devils With Wings) you'll know that I gave it four stars, with a few reservations - mainly the editing - holding back an otherwise deserved fifth.
This sequel gets the fifth in spades.
There are still a few typos and editing issues, admittedly (and with we self-published authors it's a sad fact of life) but there are far fewer than in the first book and, while with DWW it actually distracted me a little from the plot, with Silk Drop, that was not the case. I tore through the book at the fastest speed allowed by my two small, demanding kids.
The readability is partially due to (as intimated above) the reduced distraction of editing problems, but is more due to the plot. The first book confused me a little in places (WW2 fiction is not my normal genre) and I had to reread sections. With Silk Drop, Harvey's writing has really come into its own, including his planning and plot writing.
There are so many scenes that I could really picture in my mind's eye as I read (I won't voice any spoilers here, but I will simply say that Corinth and the last 7-8 chapters particularly stand out for me.) It feels as though Harvey has been to all the places he is describing and knows them intimately - I have visited Crete myself and it feels perfect and natural to me.
Moreover, the characters have settled in from the first book. A lot of the character portrayal in the first book was devoted to setting the scene for the unit and their relationships. Harvey has avoided falling into the trap of revisiting old ground, and had largely assumed the reader's knowledge of these relationships, allowing him instead to show them growing.
There are a few shocks and surprises in Silk Drop but I would say, having now read the first two of his books, that Harvey's strength lies in his description and scene-setting. I cannot wait to see what he does with the icy wastes of Russia in Frozen Sun, which is due out in a few months.
Simply, this is a complete step up from Devils with Wings and a deserved winner for me.