It’s a while since was involved in a blog tour and this time it is for an author and therefore a series, new to me.
In this book we find Joe Holderness known to many as Joe Wilderness or even Wilderness, smuggling coffee in Berlin and then we learn of his involvement with MI6. We meet the rest of the gang, An American Captain, Frank, Spoleto and Swift Eddie a UK lance bombardier and together these three have a thriving business with their main (read only) client Yuri an NKVD Major, and latterly Kostya, a corporal in the NKVD.
Then it’s off to Finland for Wilderness. He has upset the powers that be and is despatched out of the limelight to Finland. Here he rapidly sets up a smuggling operation with a gang of two Australian pilots and a Finn. This time it’s vodka to Russia and here we meet Kostya again But Wilderness, In his position in intelligence misjudges a situation and so is recalled to England.
Still needing to stay out of the limelight, Wilderness is then sent to Czechoslovakia under the guise of tractor salesman which will allow him to travel through the country and keep contact with agents. But first, he has to go to Trinity University in Dublin for a quick course in the Czech language.
While he is in Czechoslovakia the Russian crushing of Czech liberation happens. This is what brings him once again into contact with his Berlin buddies and leads almost to his undoing.
I haven’t read any other books by this author and think it would have helped to have read the first two in this series. The story jumps around continent to continent and we are only given a brief glimpse into our hero’s life when not continent jumping.
I would like to read the other books in this series and also will look into the Inspector Troy series as Troy it is who is sent as Ambassador to Prague while Wilderness is there.
Book Blurb –
The third Joe Wilderness spy thriller moves from icy Finland to tumultuous Cold War Prague, Hammer to Fall is a tale of vodka smuggling and a legendary female Red Army general who is playing a dangerous game.
It is London, the swinging sixties, and by rights MI6 spy Joe Wilderness should be having as good a time as James Bond. But alas, in the wake of an embarrassing disaster for MI6, Wilderness has been posted to remote northern Finland in a cultural exchange programme to promote Britain abroad. Bored by his work, with nothing to spy on, Wilderness finds another way to make money: smuggling vodka across the border into the USSR. He strikes a deal with old KGB pal Kostya, who explains to him there is a vodka shortage in the Soviet Union— but there is something fishy about Kostya’s sudden appearance in Finland and intelligence from London points to a connection to cobalt mining in the region, a critical component in the casing of the atomic bomb. Wilderness’s posting is getting more interesting by the minute, but more dangerous too.
Moving from the no-man’s-land of Cold War Finland to the wild days of the Prague Spring, and populated by old friends (including Inspector Troy) and old enemies alike, Hammer to Fall is a gripping tale of deception and skulduggery, of art and politics, a page-turning story of the always riveting life of the British spy.