Pages - 318
Published by Chicken House in May 2012
The boy’s lungs were burning and his eyes streaming with tears.
He had to get to England. It was now or never. The smoke was all around him, acrid cordite and sulphurous petrol. He kept on running, every breath a sharp stab in the chest. He had to keep going, had to reach the water’s edge, had to get beyond the burning vehicles and the dead and dying men on the beach.
Otto and Leni have escaped to England from Nazi Germany. They thought they were safe, but now the British want them to go back. Dropped behind enemy lines, they embark on a secret operation codenamed Wolfsangel. Their mission is to find and kidnap a girl who could bring down Hitler And so begins their bravest journey yet.
William Osborne is a Hollywood scriptwriter during the day, and it shows in this fast-paced wartime adventure. The explosive opening on the beach at Dunkirk sets the tone for the rest of the novel and there is plenty of high-stakes drama to follow. We get thrilling chases, tense near-misses and a mass of complications for our two spies ‘Otto’ & ‘Leni’.
I was particularly taken by the strength and boldness of the girl protagonist and how first one and then the other junior spy takes charge of the mission. Their developing relationship with another character (whom I can’t name so I won’t spoil the plot) gave a more rounded feel to the basic adventure story.
It would be only fair to warn younger or more sensitive readers that there is a good deal of violence in the story. It has to be there because of the plot, but some may find it upsetting.
A bonus feature is a short but interesting section of historical notes. They are best read afterwards as there is a spoiler element – but they do give depth to the book.
You would really enjoy this if you’re a fan of Robert Muchamore’s Henderson’s Boys series. It will be interesting to see if our two teen Secret Service agents go on to further adventures.