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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dead of Mametz
Compelling reading. A detective story which is largely set in France around the early days of the first Battle of the Somme during World War One but which also sees action in South Wales. The reader is immediately drawn into the intrigue. The action is fast moving and the plot has multiple strands. Clearly, the novel is extremely well researched. The attention to the...
Published on 27 May 2011 by Archimedes

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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I was unable to read this past the first couple of chapters. Despite all the local hype surrounding this book it was a real let down.

There is a glaring mistake at the beginning when he refers to children listening to i-pods... even though it is set in the 1980s!! So much for painstaking historical research and for this to happen right at the start of the book...
Published on 15 Jun 2011 by Amazon Customer


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dead of Mametz, 27 May 2011
Compelling reading. A detective story which is largely set in France around the early days of the first Battle of the Somme during World War One but which also sees action in South Wales. The reader is immediately drawn into the intrigue. The action is fast moving and the plot has multiple strands. Clearly, the novel is extremely well researched. The attention to the detail of the hardships of life in the early 20th century, and of military life, the choice and obvious accuracy of the characterisation, and the vivid descriptions of the fighting, not only add plausibility to the plot but also superbly capture the poignancy (and futility) of the War. The success of this book lies in the complexity of the plot, itself, and in the stark portrayal of the realism and horrors of the war. Recommended!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting tale, 29 July 2011
By 
S. Johnson - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This really is an interesting book. There is a prologue and epilogue where Jack, son of Tom is on a visit to the site of the great David Petersen dragon memorial to the fallen in the fighting at Mametz Wood four days before the opening ceremony on 11th July 1987. He reflects on a tale told to him by his father of a job he did here as a Military Policeman. The main body of this book is Tom Oscendale's story of the battle of Mametz. The trench warfare is vividly described,and as Jonathan Hicks is a military historian, I am sure his facts are correct. But he has interwoven a detective story which makes for a very unusual read. 'The first Thomas Oscendale novel' it says on the front cover. I wonder where he will go next? Wherever it is I am sure it will be fascinating.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twists and turns to the final page!, 21 July 2011
Captain Thomas Oscendale, the central character in The Dead of Mametz, is a welcome addition to the ranks of great British detectives.

The novel is essentially a murder mystery set in a First World War battlefield, but its graphic rendition of trench warfare, and its moral examination of why a military policeman pursues a murderer amid mass slaughter gives it a real depth. Fascinating detail is woven into the story.

As events unfold, it becomes apparent that murder is just one part of a wider mystery, and that the British and Germans are in a race against time to discover a secret that lies at the heart of Mametz Wood. This novel offers twists and turns to the final page!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dead of Mametz, 9 July 2011
By 
Edmund Leslie (Waterloo, NE, US) - See all my reviews
Great book. It mixes mystery with history for a good read. I look forward to his future novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Move over Bernie Gunther!!, 5 July 2011
By 
S. M. Rees "Steve Rees" (Wales) - See all my reviews
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If you enjoy Phillip Kerr's Berlin's 'Sam Spade' Bernie Gunther, then you may enjoy Hick's creation Thomas Oscendale. Both have their roots in 'honest coppering' and both are forced to transfer their skills to the arena of war and the frontline! Whilst Oscendale lacks the humour of Gunther,his is a far more 'serious' and austere character, through whom Hicks evokes a vivid picture of life in the trenches and in the industrial towns of South Wales during World War One. Oscendale's first adventure could be considered a little 'far fetched' but Hick's writing gallops along, draws the reader in and delivers a very satisfying yarn. As in the case of Kerr's Gunther, we are eager to embark on another case with our hero. A thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking debut from a novelist who clearly knows his history and is eager to inform the reader!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and Interesting, 20 Jun 2011
I totally recommend this book - You are completely drawn in from the start and hooked all the way through. Not only is it an enjoyable and exciting read but also very interesting due to the author's well researched history of the 1st World War and reference to areas of South Wales. One day I would like pay a visit to Mametz Wood and try to imagine what it must have been like. Really looking forward to the next Thomas Oscendale Novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fiction but based on fact, 15 Jun 2011
By 
Robin Mellor "July Japer" (South Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Having lost a relative in the battle for Mamezt Wood I eagerly anticipated this book. I was not disappointed. Even though this is a fictional murder mystery, it's set against the backdrop of the real battle for Mametz Wood. The author has clearly done alot of research in to the First World War and this makes the story feel very real. The hero, Thomas Oscendale, has the potential to develop in to one of the great literary sleuths such as Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. The story itself is up there with other great WWI mysteries such as 'The 39 Steps' and 'The Riddle of The Sands'. Even when you think you've worked out what's going on the story takes a twist so you're guessing right until the end. Can't wait for the sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dead of mametz, 12 Jun 2011
An extremely good detective novel, and a thoroughly good read,and incredibly historically correct except it lacks the idiosyncrasy of a Pals battalion, and how the British Army operated at the time,after all Dr Hicks is an academic and not a soldier, but this small complaint would only be obvious the a complete World war one geek and in no way diminishes what is a very well written thriller. Thomas Oscendale is a strong character who I am sure will develop in the planed later editions of his story. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First World War mystery, 18 May 2011
I would recommend this new novel to all those interested in The First World War or who love a great mystery. It is a great mix of an intriguing storyline and superb historical detail, with must-read tension in every chapter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Book review, 27 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very interesting, who else writes about the MFP, who else even knows about them! Very John Buchan meets Sherlock Homes
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