More than a thriller, more than a crime story of manipulation and murder, this is a story of men learning how to lead and protect their comrades, while learning to kill other men. And more than that:
“The true scale of the impact politics has on modern military operations, from an individual mission to the grand strategy, is one the taboos of recent history. This book breaks that taboo with brutal clarity and should be as thought-provoking as it is enthralling. In many ways, this is a story which has needed telling since Kosovo.” James Clark, former Defence Editor, The Sunday Times
A gritty tale of a young British officer learning his trade; receiving a troop of men already hardened by the Falklands War, or bruised by the dark occupation of a treacherous Northern Ireland. Or both. The Mountain is the weight of regimental tradition, of pride and expectation that looms over him. Match up or ship out.
Paul Illingworth’s job is all; it slowly squeezes his personal life into a disposable package as he struggles to fit in, to be accepted without condescension. To be respected without familiarity.
A wanted IRA killer flees across the Irish Sea to hide among the Irish community of England, still on a guidewire, still with a job to do. The shadow of killing a joy-rider by mistake while trying to trap the killer is a shadow that lies heavy on the regiment, but fate has plans to bring them back together…
Undoubtedly Fergus Smith has the tee-shirt, but more than that; he has the gift of conveying the fear of failure, the pride of achievement and the remorse of mistakes with a gut-twisting reality that makes the reader hold his breath, smile, or slam down the book for fear of a heart-attack.
As Shackleton’s Antarctic epic journey across the ice and his return to collect his team without a single loss of life is a monumental textbook on the subtleties of successful leadership, Fergus Smith’s first novel would not be out of place on the same shelf.
Thank you to the author for this, my personal, signed copy.
And there is more to come. His second, Sunrise in the Valley, has just been released.
Published by Headsail Books.