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Hellfire Paperback – 10 May 2012


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Hellfire + Blood of Honour: A Jack Tanner Adventure (Jack Tanner 3) + The Devil's Pact (Jack Tanner 5)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552773999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552773997
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Holland was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, and studied history at Durham University. A member of the British Commission for Military History and the Guild of Battlefield Guides, he also regularly contributes reviews and articles in national newspapers and magazines and appears on national radio. His many books include Fortress Malta, Italy's Sorrow, The Battle of Britain and his fictional WW2 series featuring Sergeant Jack Tanner.

His interviews with veterans of the Second World War are available at the Imperial War Museum and are also archived on www.secondworldwarforum.com. He lives near Salisbury with his wife, son and daughter.

Product Description

Review

This fourth Jack Tanner novel has all the pace of the previous three, and is bang on form. (Daily Mail) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Jack Tanner's war takes him to the treacherous sands of the North African desert...

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Wise on 7 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
James Holland's Jack Tanner books have been compared to Commando comics, which is good news, for a start! But now that I've been through El Alamein with man of war Jack Tanner and his band of gritty Brits I have to say that Hellfire was a better experience than any Commando comic I've ever read, and I've read plenty.

We've got a feast here: gripping and accurate chunks of big-battle action, we're in at the start of SAS and SBS operations, we get a spot of old-fashioned class warfare, an education in how the military was run in the desert in WWII, and all woven round an intriguing spy yarn.

Two things I'm liking a lot about Holland. One is the continuity of pace. These days we've grown accustomed to Yank thrillers that deliver their stories in explosive little time-juggling breathless chunks. Mr Holland just gets down to the business in hand and by and large finishes what he starts before moving on. And he manages this without any noticeable loss of tension; it's a taut book, fit for active duty, no flab in it.

Then there are his characters, especially Jack Tanner. Now some say Jack comes across a bit wooden, and I know what they mean but I think they're wrong. I found Jack fitted the book and the times he's set in perfectly, he's as I expected him to be, a fictional war hero. I wanted someone I could respect and admire and share a spot of banter with, and who I could count on when the shells were falling and the bullets flying. Someone with a good old British sense of fair play but not a lot of time for Jerry and his antics. Jack fitted the bill, even if he's a little too good to be true.

On a purely personal level, I smoked my head off reading Hellfire. Supped a few beers, too.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By james eves on 28 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have enjoyed the series of Jack Tanner and in the latest outing for our hero i feel that he has come of age.In the first three books he has been on the back foot , as he has been with the retreating army as the Germans have had the upper hand, but in Hellfire the boot is on the other foot,as the tide of the WW11 is turning.The joy for me with James Holland is that not only do you get a rip roaring adventure from a superb historian who knows his stuff,but you also get a well researched page turner that leaves you wanting more. Now that he has been promoted and has another arrow to his bow with his intelligent work,his next outing can not come to soon for me.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
There are very few writers producing anything of note for WW2 fiction reader at present, there are certainly very few who are doing it this well (Guy Saville and James Delingpole being the only notable exceptions)
As usual the books are well written with a pace that picks the reader up and carries you along with our heroes, the action is real and visceral, its written with a real passion for the subject and the characters. But with all this it still contains that element of boys own adventure that readers of Commando, Victor and Battle would have come to love and expect from their war stories, Heroes can still be Heroes here without all the sordid parts of the real world crowing in, leaving it real but idealistic at the same time.
Another excellent story from James Holland
Recommended
(Parm)

Product Description (from back of book)
August, 1942.North Africa. The desert war hangs in the balance. Although their retreat has finally been halted, morale in the British Army is at rock bottom. When the commander of the Eighth Army, General Gott, is killed, it seems that foul play is at work. An impenetrable Axis spy circuit could be compromising any hope the Allies have of stemming the Nazi tide.
Jack Tanner, recovering from wounds in a Cairo hospital, is astonished to receive a battlefield commission which will propel him into a very different world when he returns to action. Fit once more, he finds himself facing the full onslaught of Rommel's latest offensive.
In its aftermath, Tanner and his trusty sidekick Sykes are recruited to work behind the Axis lines in a desperate attempt to take the fight to the Nazis. But the murky world of subterfuge, deceit and murder they find themselves in is a million miles away from the certainties of the battlefield and somehow they must discover who they can trust in the cat-and-mouse world of counter-espionage.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 May 2012
Format: Paperback
Whilst I'm not always a big fan of modern warfare tales, I make an exception for James Holland as for me he's the English Sven Hassel, able to present a believable tale set during the hardships of war. Its dark, its brutal and of course with a lead hero who seeks to do what he has to for Queen and Country leads the reader into a whole set of affairs that bring the modern day Sharpe to the reader's attention.

The prose is sharp with the author presenting a solid woven arc to the reader with no nonsense prose that keep you glued from start to finish. Add to this some great historical accuracy backing up the overall arc and the reader really is in for a treat as history and fiction merge with wonderful clarity. Great stuff all in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mhi4516 on 23 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
Never was this phrase more appropriate than with this novel. The front cover and spine have artwork that is reminiscent of a 1970's Commando comic. However, what is inside is in no way done justice by the artwork. Instead, James Holland's latest novel, is a cross between Robert Goddard and Colin Forbes. If you like action with a carefully thought through plot, with some twists, then this is for you. I have never read any of Mr Holland's books prior to this, or knew anything about the main character Jack Tanner, who features in other titles. However, this does wet the readers appetite and encourages exploration of others works.

On turning the first page, you are presented with maps, and a page of abbreviations- this is a serious book, and the author clearly knows his topic, and scripts a "ripping yarn". You know that you are not in for throwaway beach read, but a serious story that develops well. The plot revolves on two levels, and close attention needs to be paid to geographic features- where the maps become invaluable, otherwise you will become lost easily.

All characters are well fleshed out, and believable, and its is easy to immerse oneself in 1940's Cairo, and the surrounding area.

One criticism, and this applies to many books is that the profile of the story appears crafted to cover a certain amount of pages, in this case 450. The end comes rapidly and whilst all loose ends are nicely tidied up, it all finishes rather quickly. I suspect another 50 pages could have easily been found, to tie matters up in a more orderly manner.

Ultimately, the test of any book is, " would I buy another from this author?' and the resounding answer is yes. Whilst as mentioned above, I would rejig the artwork, as books are often selected in libraries on the spine image.
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