Sergeant Jack Tanner hasn’t even been at Manston training camp for 24 hours before he realises something dodgy is going on. The death of two Polish refugees and an attempt on his life and that of his loyal corporal, Stan Sykes heightened Tanner’s suspicions against an old army adversary.
Before he can get to the bottom of the mystery, however, his company is sent out to reinforce the rest of his regiment in France and Flanders. It is May 1940 and the French and Belgian armies are in retreat in the face of the relentless thrust of the Germans. As the evacuation of the BEF becomes more inevitable, enemy opposition and treachery from within means that Tanner and his men may not make it back to Dunkirk in time.
Darkest Hour is a rollicking, testosterone and adrenaline-fuelled adventure story. Tanner is the sort of hero I imagine many little boys would like to grow up to be: principled, courageous and resourceful enough to be able to come up with a cunning plan however dire his situation appears.
Inevitably, given the subject matter, the novel is an all-male affair (apart from the guest appearance of a pretty nurse whom, I suspect might play a greater role in future novels). To enjoy this book I suspect many new readers will probably seek out the earlier novel, The Odin Mission.
The book includes a glossary of military terms and slang, several maps and an informative historical note. For boys of all ages.