Book: Irish Lass (Jack Renouf Book 4) by John F. Hanleycategories: Book, World War Two, German Occupation, Jersey, Cornwall, Ireland, Special Operations Executive, Secret Intelligence Service, Collaborators, Sea Battles, Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe, Historical Fiction
John F. Hanleyabout this book: Covid-19 lockdown has been a pain and a blessing as it prodded me into completing the fourth novel in my WW2 Historical fiction series featuring Jack Renouf. Irish Lass starts in EIRE (Southern Ireland) in July 1941, a supposedly neutral country which had escaped from the British Empire but, despite the urgings of the IRA, had no interest in joining the Third Reich. It follows on from DIAMONDS FOR THE WOLF as Jack is sent there to acquire a merchant schooner which can be used by S.O.E. (Special Operations Executive) set up by Churchill to "Set Europe Ablaze". It will be based in Helford, Cornwall and used to insert agents and carry out commando raids into Northern France.
Lt Commander Ian Fleming, who went on to write the James Bond series, is Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence and was instrumental in setting up the base and devising cunning plans which often sank without trace. He is also under orders to send Jack back to his home island, Jersey, to discover as much as possible about the German defences and plans as Churchill is under pressure from Stalin to retake the island in an attempt to draw off troops from the Russian front.
My initial inspiration for the whole series was my mother, Marjorie Renouf's experience living under five long years of German rule in Occupied Jersey, the only British territory he captured and on which he subsequently wasted enormous resources to defend to the death. The island was declared open after the French surrendered but the Nazis attacked without warning and bombed it and its neighbour Guernsey on 28th June 1940 – an evening she would never forget. Normally, she walked with her mother and a young married couple, from across the road to the harbour after their evening meal. However, she was unwell and she and my grandmother stayed at home. The neighbours went but only the wife came back – she never remarried.
Jack Renouf has a complicated love life and this is reflected in the title as it not only refers to the schooner but to Molly Farnham, an Irish lass, who becomes one of the crew. This novel is the product of years of research but is first and foremost a thriller with several twists and turns – some of which surprised the author! The book's cover features the schooner which later became the HQ ship for the Helford Flotilla.
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Other books by John F. Hanley
• Book Review: Diamonds For The Wolf (Jack Renouf Book 3) by John F. Hanley|
• Book Review: The Last Boat by John F. Hanley|
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