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David Owen (Chester UK)

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An Officer and a Spy
An Officer and a Spy
Price: 1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 19 Nov 2013
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Robert Harris is always entertaining and involving and this seemed a real change of direction after his Roman stories - full of period detail and genuine people and events which made it a work of genuine suspense.


The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton
The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton
Price: 5.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Good story but slow starting, 19 Nov 2013
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Chose this as had already read paperback edition of her other book featuring Laurence Bartram and liked it very much. This was not quite as involving and took longer to build up the pace, but it was in the end a good story with some real tension


The Royal Air Force 1939 to 1945 Vol II 'The Fight at Avails' (HMSO Official History of WWII - Military)
The Royal Air Force 1939 to 1945 Vol II 'The Fight at Avails' (HMSO Official History of WWII - Military)
Price: 1.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent history - but text riddled with errors, 3 Nov 2013
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Like its predecessor (Vol I) this is a first class history with much new information and a good writing style. However the text is riddled with mistakes - spelling mistakes, (for example 'mad' when it should be 'made' on almost every appearance) words or whole sentences missing or repeated. The end result is that for much of the time it feels more like translating than reading ! Is there any hope that an updated version may eventually be made available with these irritating mistakes eliminated ? Otherwise, though, a very worthwhile book in its subject, approach and content.


The Royal Air Force 1939 to 1945 Vol I 'The Fight at Odds' (The RAF at War)
The Royal Air Force 1939 to 1945 Vol I 'The Fight at Odds' (The RAF at War)
Price: 1.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Good story - terrible typesetting, 7 Oct 2013
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I greatly enjoyed this book (indeed am still reading it) but the poor standard of typesetting makes it far too much of a struggle - many words are missing, repeated or just plain wrong so that deciphering the true meaning of what is written becomes far from straightforward. Also these are not occasional errors, but appear at the rate of several per page. Where are the proof checkers ?


The Man Who Saved Britain
The Man Who Saved Britain
Price: 4.19

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pointless diatribe, 7 Oct 2013
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Having originally enjoyed the author's 'Germania', I recently bought his follow-up study of the Hapsburg empire, 'Danubia' which I found disappointing because it became increasingly rambling and over-complicated. But this third book is very possibly the worst book I have ever read on any subject in the whole of my life. He describes it as an analysis of the James Bond phenomenon and how it consoled the British for the loss of their empire during the 1950s and 1960s. His approach seems based on the idea that the British Empire was a uniquely horribly story of blood-letting and exploitation with no redeeming features at all. It's a point of view certainly, but his idea of the Bond character having any consoling effect is lost in his hatred for Bond, for Ian Fleming, for the stories and the contexts in which they are set and for the people who have read and enjoyed them rather negates the entire point of what he claims he wants the book to do. The repetition of points and judgments and the rambling narrative makes it unrewarding to follow and completing the book an endurance trial for the reader. I finished it in the end, but cannot help wondering why, given the virulence of his attitudes, why he bothered to write it and how on earth he persuaded anyone to publish it ? Never again !


Blood of Victory
Blood of Victory
Price: 4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Another tour de force, 30 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Blood of Victory (Kindle Edition)
Alan Furst is as good and convincing as ever in intricate tail of attempts to block oil supplies to Germany by blocking the Danube. Downbeat ending disappointing but realistic and convincing - hence four stars


Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe
Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe
Price: 4.49

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rambling, 30 Sep 2013
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Subject seemed intriguing but the text seems rambling and confusing. Follows broad chronology but leaps about between obscure places with little background information


Ostland
Ostland
Price: 3.96

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising theme but lack-lustre treatment, 16 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Ostland (Kindle Edition)
Bought this book on the subject and the treatment, but what could have been a really dynamic story but was let down for me by a fairly low level of dramatic tension. Lacked the you-are-there realism of Alan Furst or David Downing and therefore left me feeling slightly disappointed.


Never Go Back: (Jack Reacher 18)
Never Go Back: (Jack Reacher 18)
Price: 3.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back on form, 16 Sep 2013
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Recent reactions to Lee Child's Jack Reacher series have suggested problems with an ageing hero and the need to update a highly individual but inevitably repetitive format. But this book shows hero and author definitely back on form ! I've always tended to prefer Reacher in his army days or in different ways linked to those days and this one is definitely no exception. Hope for more of the same - or at least similar.....


Elizabeth's Sea Dogs
Elizabeth's Sea Dogs
Price: 5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview of neglected period in naval history, 16 Sep 2013
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Most naval history concentrates on the Napoleonic Wars - but this book gives a new insight into the beginnings of Britain's naval ascendancy when seafarers who learned their trade as quasi pirates soon became essential for national survival.


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