Kingdoms Fall: The Laxenburg Message

Written by Edward Parr
Review by John H. Manhold

Lieutenant David Gresham, bastard son of an English industrialist, is part of the invading force during the British landing at Gallipoli. He is battle hardened, while his captain, James Wilkins, is a member of the aristocracy experiencing his first action. Wilkins depends upon him, but he handles both himself and the progress of the attack admirably. Following the initial action, Gresham is promoted and recruited for the newly forming Intelligence Service. He requests that Wilkins accompany him as a good ‘back-up’ as well as for his linguistic skills and prominent connections. They proceed first to Greece with its unstable situation, then Serbia, which is about to be attacked, and continue to further their clandestine activities in Austria and France.  Factual material appears to be historically correct; the ‘old-school’ attitude of senior British officers is beautifully described (and somewhat reminiscent of  Field Marshal Montgomery’s attitude that irritated Allied Commanders during WWII) and the combat scenes believable.

In this reader’s opinion the author has presented a fine novel of this particular period of world development and realignment.