John F Hanley

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Diamonds For The Wolf – Jack Renouf Book Three

DIAMONDS FOR THE WOLF is the third novel in the Jack Renouf series and starts where THE LAST BOAT left off in October 1940. Having escaped from German Occupied Jersey, Jack has been training with the newly established Commandos. His best friend, Saul Marcks, is now working for Lieutenant-Command Ian Fleming in the Naval Intelligence Division based at the Admiralty Building in London. Fleming, who later went on to write the James Bond series, has come up with another of his crazy plans. This one is called 'Operation Ruthless' and involves ditching a captured German bomber in the English Channel as a sprat to catch the mackerel of an E-boat. Alan Turing, who is trying to break the Enigma Code, has persuaded Fleming to mount this operation to try to secure the latest German code words to help him. A group of German speaking English airmen has been recruited but due to an accident, Jack and Saul find themselves on board with other commandos as the bomber hurtles to the waves below.

I'd stayed away from Jack's tempestuous world for over a year but just had to find out what he was up to. I'd left him travelling with Saul in a taxi to a function at the Soviet Embassy in Kensington so jumped aboard to see where that would lead. 

As usual he managed to surprise me and I soon found myself having to carry out detailed research on embassy buildings, Soviet diplomatic procedures and dialectical Marxism! Needless to say, he tested my knowledge even further and I discovered secrets about the area very close to my home in Cornwall about which I'd been completely ignorant.

Later I had to locate and pour over 1940s maps of France, Spain and Portugal as well as learn everything I could about Boeing 314 Clipper flying boats!

One of the reasons I resurrected Jack was in response to queries from readers of the previous two novels about when I was going to feed them some more. Apart from the research, the story flowed into my word processor very easily — probably because the principal characters are so well established in my mind that I now see them as real people and encourage them to surprise me with their actions.

Diamonds For The Wolf is the third in a planned ten-book series about Jack and his adventures before, during and immediately after the Second World War. The final instalment is already written, but I have to keep updating it as these independent characters I've created take me down paths I hadn't anticipated and create time fractures in the last book.

Review

ACTION PACKED AND HIGHLY ENTERTAINING

A factual document about a special operation during the war forms the basis for this novel that has a brilliant main character, a dare devil and sometimes moody hero. I was stunned at the opening scene outside the Russian embassy, involving an elephant and a taxi during blackout London. This is a rollercoaster, as action packed and highly entertaining as it is informative. The dynamics between the characters against the backdrop of the political developments in Europe make this a very intelligently written and rewarding read. Wilma Lettings

Review

A DIAMOND

Jack Renouf undertakes more dramatic missions as WW2 progresses. The strong presence of the mercurial Ian Fleming is an interesting addition. Having set aside Caroline and Rachel as unfinished business, Jack takes up with another equally strong woman but of course there are complications. There is a fascinating amount of technical and historical detail in this tale, as with its two predecessors. It will be interesting to see what happens to these characters as the series unfolds. Clement

Review

RENOUF BACK IN ACTION

Here we find Jack based in London, very definitely having come of age, though he is sometimes made to feel rather juvenile in his dealings with the opposite sex…a clever blend of historical fact with an overlay of fiction to create an absorbing and, at times, tense adventure. Hence we have historical figures such as Ian Fleming, who has quite a major role as well as others putting in an appearance including the Philbys and the Duchess of Atholl. I am really looking forward to the next in the series of these intelligent, fast moving and very well researched adventures. Brett H 

Review

HOOKED FROM THE START

All three of the books in this series are absolute crackers. I don't normally read novels and I'm a fussy reader but I was hooked from the very start with these and read them all in a couple of weeks. Whilst they can all just be read as individual books the thread runs through all three. The author's detailed knowledge of Jersey compliments a very believable understanding of how the secret services conduct their often gory business in wartime. These are no ordinary war books but manage to interweave the complicated private lives of the characters with the dirty business of wartime politics. Marshall Dagger
 

Review

A JERSEY/LIZARD PILOT BOOK WITH A KICK

As an old sailor I had great fun checking up on all the locations and minutiae and could not fault the author. The action proceeds at a cracking pace and Jack Renouf does not take himself too seriously. This book can be appreciated at a fairly superficial level but is founded on hard fact. Wait for the film!
Genre : Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers and The Celtic Ring by Bjorn Larrson.  Alma Knack

Review

A GREAT ADDITION TO THE SERIES

It took me some time to get back in the story but once I did I was lost for the rest of the world. It is filled with intrigue, adventure and drama as you walk along with Jack and Saul revisiting old characters and meet new ones.
The author's research can be seen in every detail of the plot giving you a wonderful flow from scene to scene. At times it was light-hearted with banter and jokes that filled the air and at times serious as new plots had to be created to get the information needed with the war always in the back of the mind.  Lynelle Clark (South Africa)

Review

A BRILLIANT THIRD PART IN THE SERIES.

I've been eagerly waiting for this book and was not disappointed. The way the plot and the characters move around Europe is nothing short of inspired.
The novel has excellent atmospheric and authentic settings, depicting the war times and the dangers of being a spy really well; it has great and gripping characters that spice up the pages; and there are a lot of unexpected turns and twists.  Fans of thrillers will like this as much as fans of historical fiction.  Diebus

Review

FULL OF ACTION AND WELL RESEARCHED

This series starts with a great premise: a plot based on fact but written as fiction. In this instalment we're moving into a new direction, making this more of a spy thriller in historical setting (not just because Ian Fleming becomes part of the plot)…fascinating background information of historical value blended with an imaginative plot that keeps a suspenseful narrative in the voice of our often reluctant hero Jack Renouf. He's a great character with a worthy supportive cast.  Highly recommended.  Christoph Fischer

Review

STONKINGLY GOOD OPENING.!

The story begins with an intriguing factual document written to the Director of Naval Intelligence by Ian Fleming... wait? what? Ian Fleming? Yes the creator and author of James Bond!! Well talk about a hook to the reader, reel me in John F Hanley! The first chapter starts with a stonkingly good opening paragraph involving a taxi and an elephant in war torn London - got to be one of my favourite opening paragraphs to a novel ever! Sarah

ACTION PACKED AND HIGHLY ENTERTAINING

A factual document about a special operation during the war forms the basis for this novel that has a brilliant main character, a dare devil and sometimes moody hero. I was stunned at the opening scene outside the Russian embassy, involving an elephant and a taxi during blackout London. This is a rollercoaster, as action packed and highly entertaining as it is informative. The dynamics between the characters against the backdrop of the political developments in Europe make this a very intelligently written and rewarding read. Wilma Lettings

A DIAMOND

Jack Renouf undertakes more dramatic missions as WW2 progresses. The strong presence of the mercurial Ian Fleming is an interesting addition. Having set aside Caroline and Rachel as unfinished business, Jack takes up with another equally strong woman but of course there are complications. There is a fascinating amount of technical and historical detail in this tale, as with its two predecessors. It will be interesting to see what happens to these characters as the series unfolds. Clement

RENOUF BACK IN ACTION

Here we find Jack based in London, very definitely having come of age, though he is sometimes made to feel rather juvenile in his dealings with the opposite sex…a clever blend of historical fact with an overlay of fiction to create an absorbing and, at times, tense adventure. Hence we have historical figures such as Ian Fleming, who has quite a major role as well as others putting in an appearance including the Philbys and the Duchess of Atholl. I am really looking forward to the next in the series of these intelligent, fast moving and very well researched adventures. Brett H 

HOOKED FROM THE START

All three of the books in this series are absolute crackers. I don't normally read novels and I'm a fussy reader but I was hooked from the very start with these and read them all in a couple of weeks. Whilst they can all just be read as individual books the thread runs through all three. The author's detailed knowledge of Jersey compliments a very believable understanding of how the secret services conduct their often gory business in wartime. These are no ordinary war books but manage to interweave the complicated private lives of the characters with the dirty business of wartime politics. Marshall Dagger
 

A JERSEY/LIZARD PILOT BOOK WITH A KICK

As an old sailor I had great fun checking up on all the locations and minutiae and could not fault the author. The action proceeds at a cracking pace and Jack Renouf does not take himself too seriously. This book can be appreciated at a fairly superficial level but is founded on hard fact. Wait for the film!
Genre : Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers and The Celtic Ring by Bjorn Larrson.  Alma Knack

A GREAT ADDITION TO THE SERIES

It took me some time to get back in the story but once I did I was lost for the rest of the world. It is filled with intrigue, adventure and drama as you walk along with Jack and Saul revisiting old characters and meet new ones.
The author's research can be seen in every detail of the plot giving you a wonderful flow from scene to scene. At times it was light-hearted with banter and jokes that filled the air and at times serious as new plots had to be created to get the information needed with the war always in the back of the mind.  Lynelle Clark (South Africa)

A BRILLIANT THIRD PART IN THE SERIES.

I've been eagerly waiting for this book and was not disappointed. The way the plot and the characters move around Europe is nothing short of inspired.
The novel has excellent atmospheric and authentic settings, depicting the war times and the dangers of being a spy really well; it has great and gripping characters that spice up the pages; and there are a lot of unexpected turns and twists.  Fans of thrillers will like this as much as fans of historical fiction.  Diebus

FULL OF ACTION AND WELL RESEARCHED

This series starts with a great premise: a plot based on fact but written as fiction. In this instalment we're moving into a new direction, making this more of a spy thriller in historical setting (not just because Ian Fleming becomes part of the plot)…fascinating background information of historical value blended with an imaginative plot that keeps a suspenseful narrative in the voice of our often reluctant hero Jack Renouf. He's a great character with a worthy supportive cast.  Highly recommended.  Christoph Fischer

STONKINGLY GOOD OPENING.!

The story begins with an intriguing factual document written to the Director of Naval Intelligence by Ian Fleming... wait? what? Ian Fleming? Yes the creator and author of James Bond!! Well talk about a hook to the reader, reel me in John F Hanley! The first chapter starts with a stonkingly good opening paragraph involving a taxi and an elephant in war torn London - got to be one of my favourite opening paragraphs to a novel ever! Sarah

Europe 1940-41 before Germany invaded Russia.

Europe 1940-41 before Germany invaded Russia.

Soviet Embassy London. Ambassador Maisky with portrait of Stalin

Soviet Embassy London. Ambassador Maisky with portrait of Stalin

Commander Ian Fleming in Room 39 at the Admiralty in London

Commander Ian Fleming in Room 39 at the Admiralty in London

Kim Philby senior MI6 agent and Communist spy

Kim Philby senior MI6 agent and Communist spy

Alan Turing - code breaking genius

Alan Turing - code breaking genius

4 disc Enigma coding machine - the one which almost defeated Turing

4 disc Enigma coding machine - the one which almost defeated Turing

Operation Ruthless memo

 

Operation Ruthless memo

Western approaches 1941

Western approaches 1941

Captured Heinkel 111 in RAF colours before being prepared for Operation Ruthless

Captured Heinkel 111 in RAF colours before being prepared for Operation Ruthless

Heinkel 111 ditching in the sea - Flemings vision

Heinkel 111 ditching in the sea - Flemings vision

German rescue buoy for downed airmen - the lure for a schnellboote

German rescue buoy for downed airmen - the lure for a schnellboote

Cornwall and the SOE base in Helford

Cornwall and the SOE base in Helford

Helford SOE base

Helford SOE base

Helford River with SOE HQ Ridifarne

Helford River with SOE HQ Ridifarne

Training in Helford with captured Italian rebreathing suits

Training in Helford with captured Italian rebreathing suits

le Saie and Jack's farm

le Saie and Jack's farm

Jersey - Le Saie beach where Jack and Willie land after the storm

Jersey - Le Saie beach where Jack and Willie land after the storm

Portugal and Spain - Saldeana Wolfram Mine

Portugal and Spain - Saldeana Wolfram Mine

Lisbon lights - the joys of neutrality

Lisbon lights - the joys of neutrality

Lisbon - Germans displaying their propaganda

Lisbon - Germans displaying their propaganda

Wolframite (Tungsten) - essential for armour piercing shells

Wolframite (Tungsten) - essential for armour piercing shells

Portugal rugged terrain around wolframite mines

Portugal rugged terrain around wolframite mines

Irish schooner Cymric docked

Irish schooner Cymric docked

Liverpool Docks - Customs House before Luftwaffe called

Liverpool Docks - Customs House before Luftwaffe called

Liverpool Docks Customs House after Luftwaffe bombing 1941

Liverpool Docks Customs House after Luftwaffe bombing 1941

Royal Naval College Greenwich where Jack and Rachel train as RNVR officers

Royal Naval College Greenwich where Jack and Rachel train as RNVR officers

Europe 1940-41 before Germany invaded Russia.

Soviet Embassy London. Ambassador Maisky with portrait of Stalin

Commander Ian Fleming in Room 39 at the Admiralty in London

Kim Philby senior MI6 agent and Communist spy

Alan Turing - code breaking genius

4 disc Enigma coding machine - the one which almost defeated Turing

 

Operation Ruthless memo

Western approaches 1941

Captured Heinkel 111 in RAF colours before being prepared for Operation Ruthless

Heinkel 111 ditching in the sea - Flemings vision

German rescue buoy for downed airmen - the lure for a schnellboote

Cornwall and the SOE base in Helford

Helford SOE base

Helford River with SOE HQ Ridifarne

Training in Helford with captured Italian rebreathing suits

le Saie and Jack's farm

Jersey - Le Saie beach where Jack and Willie land after the storm

Portugal and Spain - Saldeana Wolfram Mine

Lisbon lights - the joys of neutrality

Lisbon - Germans displaying their propaganda

Wolframite (Tungsten) - essential for armour piercing shells

Portugal rugged terrain around wolframite mines

Irish schooner Cymric docked

Liverpool Docks - Customs House before Luftwaffe called

Liverpool Docks Customs House after Luftwaffe bombing 1941

Royal Naval College Greenwich where Jack and Rachel train as RNVR officers