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The Fulcrum Files by [Chisnell, Mark]
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The Fulcrum Files Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Length: 354 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

'What really impressed me though was the strong characterisation and plotting. It is rather complicated, but everything dovetails together very nicely at the end... Fans of David Downing or Alan Furst in particular should give this book a chance.' Crime Fiction Lover

'With his riveting plotting and engaging characters, Chisnell provides a good read.' Read All Day

'This is a well-researched historical thriller with romantic extras. The hero is a poor boy with a brain and the complex snobberies he encounters are sharply delineated. Two nicely contrasted heroines, lots of period detail and a touch of industrial strife thrown in. This is a big book, well-worth settling down to. I shall be looking out for more.' Indie e-book review

'Once the "course" of the book was finally set, I was hooked.  Just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore this amazing, fast paced story emerged before my very eyes and I couldn't put it down... What you have is just another shining example of why Chisnell is an indie name to keep your eyes on.' Kindle Obsessed

'History, the sea, adventure, Romance and intrigue make for a good plot but the real measure is if you can put it down or not. I couldn't and am looking forward to Mark's next book for he has a new fan.' Pete Goss

About the Author

Mark Chisnell grew up in a small town on the east coast of England. The town was dominated by the rise of the oil industry and the decline of shipbuilding and fishing. Mark has been a professional sportsman and also won awards as a broadcaster and for his non-fiction accounts of maritime adventure. He's written for some of the world's leading magazines and newspapers, including Esquire and the Guardian. One of his greatest personal achievements was hitch-hiking to Mount Everest base-camp in Tibet. In Trainers. Mark had thought he'd have a future as a marine engineer, that was until he picked up a copy of Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The cover said it would change the way the reader felt about the world and it changed Mark's perception about his life and where he wanted to go. He learned that books can change people's lives and that he wanted to write one. He wanted to write many. Mark began by writing about the sport in which he won three world championships, and subsequently won plaudits and recognition for his adrenaline-fuelled and suspenseful accounts of round-the-world racing. When he moved to fiction, he used his experiences as a sportsman and his background in broadcasting and journalism to weave chart-topping tales filled with intrigue, danger, romance and characters that take the reader on an incredible page turning journey. Mark currently lives in Europe with his wife and son.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3550 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1621251632
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0074HGO4S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,571 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an enjoyable story with several twists and turns based loosely on historical fact. All the more interesting to me as I love sailing and know the area where the book is based.
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In inter-war Britain forces are at work either trying to prevent or prepare for a second world war. Ben Clayton is more interested in sailing and fisherman's daughter Lucy. When an apparent accident kills his friend Ben is plunged into a world of intrigue, plots and counter-plots. As a sworn pacifist he doesn't even want to be involved with the production of warplanes like the Spitfire, but events force him to rethink his position. His beliefs aren't the only thing under threat, as his relationship with Lucy is threatened by the seductive Anna.

This novel is primarily a spy thriller but for me it was much enhanced by the historical element. I found the writing so evocative of the period. I could picture the people and their dress and it captured the tensions, including class divisions, of the time. When the story moved to Germany I found some of the narrative chilling and very tense, and I read on keen to get to the bottom of the tale. I found the author's note about certain facts that pertain to the story fascinating. They were facts I weren't aware of and often it's the stories like those that bring history to life for me. Sailing also plays an important part, and is a recurring and interesting theme in Mark's novels (no great surprise if you read his author biog)

Ben is a very empathetic character. His life looks to be heading in exactly the direction he wanted, but he rapidly finds it all unraveling and unwittingly becomes a key to the course of the future. The strength of his beliefs has alienated his parents and he doesn't seem to fit within any particular class, and now he finds himself pulled from all angles. It's impossible not to be on his side. Lucy is also an attractive character and the polar opposite of slick, glamorous Anna.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Take a classic novel and combine it with a modern thriller format, set it in the world-famous sailing hub that is Hamble, which was also where the Spitfire was built, and you have an idea of Mark Chisnell's latest offering. Very different in feel from his previous novels, it still has some of the the same characteristics; gripping plot, well-drawn characters and a sharp attention to detail.

Set among the politics and social system of pre-WW2 England, it incorporates a number of the issues of the day as well as the novel's central plot, surrounding the murder of the main character's friend. Pacifism, class discrimination, sailing, intrigue, romance, sailing... Part Erskine Childers' Riddle of the Sands part John Buchan's Thirty-Nine Steps, this has the potential to be a real classic - I read it in one sitting with just a brief break for my eyes. Looking forward to a print version which is going to solve a few birthday present problems!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Fulcrum Files is a rollicking good thriller which picks up the heritage of John Buchan and Erskine Childers. Set in the late 1930s, primarily in and around the factories producing the newly-designed Supermarine Spitfire, it tells the tale of a young pacifist who is drawn deeper and deeper into a web of intrigue surrounding the death of a friend.

The central character, Ben Clayton is well formed and precisely thought through, with some powerful conflicts in his psyche. The baddies are also well-drawn, with just enough arrogance to really get you hating them, and the supporting cast is equally well-rounded.

One of the things I was particularly impressed by was Chisnell's attention to period detail. His descriptions of landscapes and cityscapes both in Britain and mainland Europe have a kind of magic to them which utterly enchants - conveying the excitement of a young man who has not been much out of his country before.

In all, this story pulls you along, from the small local beginnings in a boatyard on the south coast of England, before it takes on an international dimension of spies and the tension in Europe before the start of World War 2. I particularly appreciated his close descriptions of Munich before the war - an insight into a world I have rarely encountered in "war themed" books.

Having said that, this book is not about a war. Central to its unfolding is the integrity that Ben Clayton has in his beliefs, in his relationships with his friends, and in the romance he tries to embark on with Lucy - in the face of overwhelming class prejudice.

Very enjoyable.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Mark Chisnell's THE FULCRUM FILES opens in 1922 when the young English boxer, Ben Clayton, snatches victory from the jaws of defeat by knocking out - and severely injuring - his ring opponent. Guilt ridden, Ben turns to pacifism as his life's guiding philosophy.

Fast forward to 1936.

Ben is now a structural engineer recently employed by Supermarine Aviation Works, Ltd., a subsidiary of Vickers-Armstrongs Aircraft, Ltd. A keen amateur sailor since his college days, Clayton and his best friend, mentor, and fellow engineer, Stanley Arbethwaite, are now working to equip the racing yacht Windflower, owned by Supermarine executive Harold Dunwood, with a revolutionary mast made of duraluminum, one of the earliest types of hardened aluminum alloys. But Harold is killed in a freak accident while rigging the mast. Ben comes to believe that his friend was murdered. But why? And by whom?

Ben's investigation into Stanley's death is the central plot of the novel told against a background of a reemerging and bellicose Nazi Germany, a divided England (appeasement versus national rearmament for war), and the development of the famed Spitfire warplane.

THE FULCRUM FILES is part murder whodunit and part espionage tale with a love interest thrown in (for the female readership?).

The book contains an excess character or two and at least one superfluous subplot that stretched out the storyline and should perhaps have been left on the cutting room floor. Indeed, it isn't until Ben finds himself in Germany about two-thirds of the way through that the plot really thickens. I wish there had been less about the yachting and (much) more about the development of the Spitfire, but that's only my personal preference.
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