The Hidden War

Written by David Fiddimore
Review by Mike Ashworth

Set in 1948, the novel opens with tensions increasing between the Soviet forces and the western Allied forces in Berlin. As the situation deteriorates, Charlie Bassett finds himself co-ordinating the efforts of a small freight outfit flying from the UK to West Germany and on to Berlin as part of the massive allied air bridge making essential drops of food and medicines to help the increasingly beleaguered and starving population. Of course, it’s not all work for Charlie who soon has a girl in each airport and a scheme in every country. However, when the people he loves are threatened by the effects of the blockade, he knows he must take a desperate chance to smuggle them out of the country.

The Hidden War is the fourth in a series of novels involving Charlie Bassett – war hero, man about town and inveterate womaniser. David Fiddemore’s story is an entertaining mixture of the strangely surreal and the totally believable while evoking the danger and tragedy which were an unspoken but inevitable part of the whole operation. Bassett is a plausible personality whose wisecracking and cynicism masks a more sensitive, caring side. An entertaining read. Recommended.