To the Devil His Due

The cover of the book "To the Devil His Due"

It was a suicide mission. Sending two men deep into the heart of Nazi Germany with orders to assassinate Hitler and end the war for good. Would they be able to evade capture? Would they be able to get close enough to the most closely-guarded man in the world? And, when the time came, would they be able to pull the trigger.

Back at the end of the last century, the Public Records Office released a number of files belonging to the Special Operations Executive (SOE) that had been kept secret since the end of the Second World War. Amongst these were plans to mount an operation to assassinate Hitler at his alpine retreat near Berchtesgaden in southern Bavaria. That an assassination plan had been mooted during the war was perhaps, of itself, not that surprising but there was something of a sensation in the press when the contents of Operation Foxley were released.

Reading the story in the papers back in 1998, it occurred to me that Foxley would provide an excellent basis for a novel examining what might have happened if the plan had been put into action, rather than being shelved as the war was coming to a close. Thus To The Devil His Due was born and fourteen long years later it was finally completed.

Thurkill’s Revenge – Part 1 of the Huscarl Chronicles

The year is 1066 and Thurkill, son of Scalpi, stands on the threshold of manhood.

Trained from a young age to follow his father into the ranks of King Harold’s loyal huscarls, he is thrust into the maelstrom of that year’s events; events that would prove cataclysmic for both him and his country.

When a Viking army invades the country to the north, Thurkill finds himself in the front rank of the Saxon shield wall fighting for his life in a truly terrifying baptism of fire. Things then go from bad to worse when, just days later, news reaches the King that Duke William of Normandy has landed on the south coast.

It is only after this second battle is done, however, that Thurkill’s real struggle begins: the fight to save his family from the evil clutches of Count Richard FitzGilbert.

Thurkill’s Battle – Part 2 of the Huscarl Chronicles

Fresh from taking his revenge against Richard FitzGilbert for the callous murder of his aunt and sister, Thurkill decides to throw in his lot with what remains of the Saxon army in Lundenburh where a new King – Edgar, last of the royal line of Wessex – has been elected in a last-ditch attempt to defeat Duke William.

No sooner has he arrived, however, than he finds himself caught up in a fight to defend the city from the advancing Normans, made all the more desperate by the appearance of his former love, Hild, who has fled to the city to escape the invaders.Having helped to push the enemy back south of the river, Thurkill then embarks on a mission that takes him west to locate the Norman army and track its movements.

He finds them at the town of Wallingford where they intend to cross the river before swinging back east to attack the capital. But Duke William is not the only thing that Thurkill finds there. Richard’s brother Robert has come north to England to join the Duke and to find the man responsible for his kinsman’s death. Thurkill’s past has caught up with him.

Can he evade his nemesis and save Hild where he previously failed to protect his family? Or will Robert learn the truth of his identity and drag him into a fight from which only one can survive?