The Devil’s Pact
Set mainly in Sicily, during the Allied invasion of July 1943, this novel certainly does not lack for action. The battle scenes are vividly depicted and seem highly technically accurate. The author is a well-known historian, so he has clearly used his expertise to create well-imagined, clearly described and believable fighting. There are even ‘real’ characters appearing, such as General Patton from the American forces and Hedley Verity, a famous cricketer who volunteered to fight the Nazi scourge, which adds to the feeling of authenticity. The atmosphere throughout is one of adventure and derring-do.
The main character, Jack Tanner, is brave, highly decorated, gallant, morally upright and almost too good to be true; the novel is one of escapist enjoyment, certainly. The reader is anxious for Tanner to defeat the Nazis and outwit his evil bully commander, who does everything he can to get Jack killed. The main crux of the story is the private deal done by the Allies with the Mafia in order to overcome the Nazis, the devil’s pact of the title. The romantic element is perhaps the least convincing but is only really tacked onto the end. This is the fifth in the series following the adventures of Jack Tanner, the first being The Odin Mission. It is fine as a stand-alone, however, and is perfect for anyone who enjoys old-fashioned war novels.