Those Who Dare by Phil Ward is the first book in a series of novels about British raiding forces in World War II. Led by Lt. John Randall, an American officer who joined the UK forces early in the war, these brave volunteers engaged in dangerous hit-and-run attacks against German installations in occupied France. A former cavalry officer, Randall brought guerilla tactics and an American can-do attitude to the buttoned British forces, in the process learning to lead in combat, while at the same time, dealing with his growing affections for the hard core British baroness, herself trained in clandestine warfare, and who is working to elevate the position of women in the hide-bound British system.
This novel is meticulously researched, and the author does a masterful job of weaving actual historical personalities into his fictional narrative. Military details are on the money, and used in such a way that they don’t disrupt the narrative or flow of the book. Characters are fully fleshed out, and the reader comes away from the book with a sense that you ‘know’ them.
If you like military fiction, you’ll love this book. While there are some oddities in formatting in the e-book version, they do not detract from the pleasure of reading well-crafted military fiction.
I give this opening salvo four stars.