Featured: The Man from Section Five by Jana Petken

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Review: A high-octane spy thriller. Nobody in this story is who they seem to be. The reader will be stunned by one shocking revelation after another.

Brinley Knight has a photographic memory. Bored with his mundane job, he accepts an offer from MI5 to become a full-time spy in a shadowy world of espionage.

As Britain stands at the edge of war, Brin learns to his cost that ‘defending the realm’ means duty before family.

London, 1937. A sniper kills an accountant in a quiet London neighbourhood. Weeks later, the police find two dead German agents in a disused warehouse across the river.

South of France, 1938. An English diplomat is found dead at the hotel hosting the Jewish Refugee Crisis Conference. MI5 believe the Abwehr is responsible for all four deaths.

Berlin, 1938. Ursula Engel, an ambitious German actress, is out of a job after the Gestapo detain her Jewish cast members and close the theatre. On a trip to France, she meets the charming Gregg Talbot, but is he what and who he claims to be?

Hitler’s fifth columnists in Britain emerge from the darkness, as Germany’s military might eyes new territories east of the Rhine.

German spies: aristocrats, politicians, wealthy businessmen, anti-Semites, and fascist groups operate in opulent dining rooms and in the back alleys of London’s East-End.

Menacing predators, they hunt for information that could aid the Führer’s ambitions and stoke fires of division between the Jews, Communists, and British fascists.

Britain is already at war, as the government tries to hold the political parties and British public together before the streets of England burn with hatred and revenge.

Jana Petken

Meet Jana Petken:

Jana Petken is a historical fiction author and screenwriter.

She is critically acclaimed as a bestselling, gritty author who produces bold, colourful characters and riveting storylines.

She is the recipient of numerous major international awards for her works of historical fiction.

Before life as an author, she served in the British Royal Navy. During her service, she studied Naval Law and history.

After the Navy, she worked for British Airways and turned to writing after an accident on board an aircraft forced her to retire prematurely.

Review by Enrico Grafitti:

The Man from Section Five is the latest historical thriller from the pen of multiple award-winning author Jana Petken. Without bogging the reader down in factual details from the pre-WWII period when the tale occurs, Petken does a superb job of relating the events of the time as a solid background for her fictional characters as these intermingle with real people of the mid-to-late 1930s in Britain.

The story is about how a disaffected accountant is recruited by Military Intelligence, Section Five and his progress through his first few years with the Security Service. That alone is a fascinating tale, yet the author also expands the events into pre-war Germany as we follow the theatre actress daughter of a Scottish woman married to a German, who unknowingly harbors a secret that could cost her dearly should her lover, a German Intelligence officer, become aware of it.

The book is not a quick read, yet boredom is banished by Petken’s mastery of fast pace, captivating characters, and the constant sense of impending doom she creates for her main characters. One factor that stands out for me in this tale is the profoundly atmospheric presentation of both pre-war Germany and Britain.

The author’s skill in conveying the era and its incidents, present from the very first page, immerse the reader deeply into the affairs of the time without needing to be a history buff.

I really enjoyed this novel, and was pleased to see that it is the first book in a new series, so, hopefully, soon we will have more of Brinley Knight’s escapades. If well researched, impressively presented and highly entertaining historical fiction is what you seek, you cannot go wrong with this novel. Very highly recommended!

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