No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
Mike Hollow was born in 1953 in the Essex County Borough of West Ham and spent his early years in Romford. After studying Russian and French at Cambridge University he worked for the BBC for sixteen years and then the international development agency Tearfund for eleven before going freelance as a writer and editor in 2002. He lives in Hampshire with his wife Margaret and has two grown-up children who live in London. Nowadays he earns his living translating Russian in his cellar and spends the rest of his time writing stories about Detective Inspector John Jago, the Blitz Detective. The first novel, Direct Hit, was published in 2015, and Fifth Column is the second in the series.
A fascinating and captivating trip into the bomb damaged (and occasionally crime-ridden) streets of London during the Second World War. ‘Fifth Column’ is the second in ‘The Blitz Detective’ series and while you can jump straight in here, I suggest you start with the first, ‘Direct Hit’. DI Jago and DC Craddock are investigating a murder, several Nazi sympathisers attempt to keep a low profile, could there be more to this crime than meets the eye? The realistic and honest tones, ensure that this isn't a romanticised foray into the past, yet the story is completely engaging. Mike Hollow describes the ravaged streets so vividly it feels as though you're standing next to a blasted pile of debris, covered in white plaster dust. I found myself completely immersed in this tale, the folk and surroundings of West Ham and Canning Town come to life. This series promises to keep delivering and I can't wait for the next instalment. ~ Liz Robinson
March 2016 Debut of the Month. A wonderfully uncomplicated and somehow charming read about a murder investigation during the Second World War. This isn't a gore-fest, even though death is afoot and there are a sack full of motivations for murder. Jago, ‘The Blitz Detective’ is engaging, reliable and hiding hurts from the previous war, his young side kick is wet behind the ears and keen as mustard. Not only are you in the middle of an interesting inquiry, you can literally wander the streets of the East End during the Blitz; you can hear the bombers flying in formation overhead, feel the fear of not having adequate shelter and see the ragged outlines of buildings smashed to smithereens. A worthy new Detective Inspector is on patrol, you want him by your side and on your side as you take a step back in time. ~ Liz Robinson
September, 1940. As the Blitz takes its nightly toll on London and Hitler prepares his invasion fleet just across the Channel in occupied France, Britain is full of talk about enemy agents. Suspicion is at an all time high and no one is sure who can be trusted. In Canning Town, rescue workers are unsettled when they return to a damaged street and discover a body that shouldn't be there. When closer examination of the corpse reveals death by strangling, Detective Inspector John Jago is called upon to investigate. But few seem to really care about the woman's death - not even her family. As Jago digs deeper he starts to uncover a trail of deception, betrayal, and romantic entanglements.
Saturday 7th September, 1940. The sun is shining, and in the midst of the good weather Londoners could be mistaken for forgetting their country was at war - until the familiar wail of the air-raid sirens heralds an enemy attack. The Blitz has started, and normal life has abruptly ended - but crime has not. That night a man's body is discovered in an unmarked van in the back streets of West Ham. When Detective Inspector John Jago is called to the scene, he recognises the victim: local Justice of the Peace, Charles Villiers. The death looks suspicious, but then a German bomb obliterates all evidence. War or no war, murder is still murder, and it's Jago's job to find the truth.