Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Mayfly by James Hazel and I have great guest post for you all. I recently read and enjoyed The Mayfly, you can read my review by clicking here.
About the book:
A mutilated body discovered in the woods.
A murderous plan conceived in the past.
A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .
When lawyer Charlie Priest is attacked in his own home by a man searching for information he claims Priest has, he is drawn into a web of corruption that has its roots in the last desperate days of World War Two.
When his attacker is found murdered the next day, Priest becomes a suspect and the only way to clear his name is to find out about the mysterious House of Mayfly – a secret society that people will kill for.
As Priest races to uncover the truth, can he prevent history from repeating itself?
About the author:
Before turning his hand to writing, James Hazel was a lawyer in private practice specialising in corporate and commercial litigation and employment law. He was an equity partner in a regional law firm and held a number of different department headships until he quit legal practice to pursue his dream of becoming an author. He has a keen interest in criminology and a passion for crime thrillers, indie music and all things retro. James lives on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds with his wife and three children.
Growing up on real war stories
In April of 1941, 100,000 British soldiers were relocated from Egypt to help in the defence of Greece against the advancement of German troops from Bulgaria and the Italians from Albania.
In truth, the move was nothing more than a political gesture; the notion that the Germans might not be able to break through Yugoslavia was nothing more than wishful thinking. The ill-prepared Tommies were soon outflanked and desperately re-establishing a new defensive position amidst fierce fighting.
With defeat inevitable, the British carried out hurried evacuations from the southern Greek ports of Nabplion and Kalamata.
On the 4th May 1941, one soldier, a young driver in the RASC, slowly raised his hands to German guns. Along with many others, he was stripped naked and marched through a nearby town where later he would be sent to Stalag 18A, a POW camp at Wolfsberg, Austria.
He was one of 10,000 captured British soldiers.
Fifty years later, a grandfather recounts his stories to his mesmerized grandson: stories of survival, of life in the camp, of fighting in Egypt, of meeting Himmler; stories of fate and how the choices we make define not just our own lives but the lives of countless others through the generations.
Perhaps I should have been scared. As it happened, I was enthralled.
There were consequences of course. Like the time that my mum was called into school and questioned sternly about why I had written a piece of homework which included a picture of my granddad locked in a prison cell. Was he a criminal? Should Safeguarding be called in? After all, I was only six. Apparently, I also told an American tourist outside Buckingham Palace that my Grandad had a gun. This time I was only five.
Fortunately, things were mostly straightened out.
As a child, I didn’t have much appreciation of the context. He was just my grandfather: Arthur Hopewell, a man everyone called Bid, although no one seemed to know why. It’s only looking back on it now that I realise the enormity of it all, what had taken place, and what could have taken place.
On the 28th December 1940, the HMT Orcades arrived at Suez and the troops, Private Hopewell included, were lined up to embark on one of two ships to Greece. Just before boarding, someone who knew Grandad called him over to the other ship: a regiment there needed a driver. He swapped ships at the last minute. It was to become the most important decision of his life. The other ship was sunk and the troops on it were lost to the sea.
A different ship, a different decision, and I would never have been born.
The Mayfly is the culmination of my interest in the Second World War that started when I was five years old and my personal salute to the late Private Hopewell, the real hero of the story.
Make sure to follow the blog tour: