As the title suggests this is the second in the Blade of Dishonor trilogy. I saw trilogy but it is really one book. It is very hard to separate the first from the second book. The first book does have a plot that works for just that book but as soon as you start reading the second part you can’t help wondering if the Omnibus would not have been a better bet. At £2.54 it costs less that a pint at my local and it slides in to your consciousness like a proper warm beer on a wet and miserable autumnal evening. If you’ve read any of my reviews for anything that Thomas Pluck has written you’ll know that I am a fan. So far this series of books is by far his best work yet and despite the greater length it still maintains the hard-hitting realism that I enjoy so much.
This part of the story takes place mainly in the Second World War. I grew up reading war stories but most of them were from a British perspective. This one feels different and yet has all those same qualities I enjoyed as a kid. I particularly like the way that Butch doesn’t talk about his service at all. That is so common. My nan died without ever telling us what she did in the war and all I got out of my gramps was that he would never buy anything Italian as long as he lived because of the way he way treated as a POW. The pain and sacrifice just about everyone suffered during that time comes through in this book. This helps balance the obvious physical conflicts and prevent it from becoming just a tool for exhibiting violence.
I really enjoyed this book but I stand by the fact that it really should be read as part of the omnibus. If you don’t buy this book at least go and check out Thomas Pluck as his work is well worth the effort.