Jan KuÅ›mirek, 64, bases his series of wartime thrillers on his own experiences and those of his family as Polish émigrés. Through his father, who had served in the Polish Underground, Jan had his eyes opened at an early age to the atrocities perpetrated upon the Poles. Jan enjoyed a highly successful career within the cosmetics industry and is regarded as one of the world's leading clinical aromatherapists. He was encouraged to write fiction by his crime novelist uncle Kenneth Royce, who instilled in him a keen attention to detail in his work.
Like the work of John le Carré and Alan Furst, The Engineer is both a powerful and compelling thriller – and a thoroughly-researched snapshot of the era, giving the reader a detailed insight into the people and places, political and cultural climates, heroics and atrocities of the Second World War. And like the best of John le Carré, the novel is morally complex, with 'good' and 'evil' being relative, not absolute terms. The book - the first of a proposed trilogy known as Chronicles of Love and Honour - is undoubtedly complex and, in its unflinching condemnation of the British and American forces, highly controversial. Yet author Jan KuÅ›mirek expertly crafts the material to deliver an unashamedly intelligent work of historical fiction that serves as much as impassioned re-evaluation of the Polish war contribution as spy novel.