The Sturmtaucher Trilogy
The Sturmtaucher Trilogy was published during the second half of 2022, having taken five years to research, write and edit. Set in Kiel, Northern Germany, it is the story of two closely connected families as Adolf Hitler and his National Socialists come to power in 1933, ending the liberal and democratic era of the Weimar Republic.
The Kästners, a military family, born into a life of privilege, thrive. The Nussbaums, the second generation of domestic staff to work for the Kästners, are Jews, and the inexorable tightening of the noose on the Nussbaums and their fellow Jews threatens to pull both families apart.
As the threat of war hangs over the world, few could imagine the horror that will overtake Europe’s Jews and other minorities as Hitler, Heydrich and Eichmann plan their Final Solution.
Ruth, the Nussbaums’ ten-year-old daughter, realises with a devastating certainty that the world has suddenly shifted around her. General Erich Kästner, as part of Army intelligence, knows that the Germany he loved has gone, and that he must take unthinkable action if he is to save the Nussbaums, a family he considers as part of his own, from disaster.
‘Every once in a while, you come across a book which is truly exceptional and any review I can possibly write, even one which honestly comes from the heart, can’t possibly hope to even scratch the surface in doing true justice to. The Gathering Storm…the fantastic blend of fact and fiction is almost perfectly seamless, so that it is difficult to tell where one stops and the other begins, as history is inspirationally brought to life within its pages.’
‘For a few days, I lived and breathed this exceptional novel and even when I wasn’t reading it, my thoughts were dominated by the plight of the Nussbaums
‘It is all-consuming, at times horrifically graphic, and contains characters I will never forget…it is my top series for the year, with books one, two and three taking respective places in my top three books. They are not to be missed. It is magnificent. I cannot recommend this series enough. Perfection.‘
I was both humbled and stunned when The Sturmtaucher Trilogy
was named ‘Best books of the year 2021’ by four book bloggers:
A further two bloggers put The
Gathering Storm into their top ten books of 2021:
For more details about the trilogy, for maps, charts and plans that help to make sense of the story, for photographs and documents I used in my research, please visit my website.
The Crime Books
My first book, The Cabinetmaker, was published in 2013. John McDaid, a young Glasgow policeman, is assigned to the murder of a young student in Glasgow’s West end in 1978, on his first day in CID. The investigation is dogged by sloppy policing and, by the time the perpetrators finally walk free, the young detective had struck up an unlikely friendship with the murder victim’s father, Cabinetmaker Francis Hare, based on their shared love of football, the young man’s growing fascination with the craftmanship he sees in Francis’s workshop, and their desire to find justice for Patrick, Francis’s son.
It is better to write what you know, they say, and after the football, cabinetmaking, and the West End of Glasgow in my first book, I chose the lower Clydeside of Renfrew and Paisley as the setting for my second, Blue Wicked, and I drew on my experience in veterinary practice to pen a crime novel based on the abuse of animals, and what it might lead to. It has a pair of unlikely detectives as two of the main characters, whom readers have asked me to bring back at some point in time for another outing. When the dregs of Glasgow’s underbelly turn up tortured and mutilated, only one man seems to know they are connected. Only Catherine believes Eddie, when he tries to tell the police…
My third book, Bloq, starts in Glasgow, with local man Bill Ingram waiting on a cold Christmas Eve, at the city’s Central Station, expecting to meet his daughter Carol, off the London train. She works there, in a large newspaper. When she doesn’t appear, and the last passenger leaves the station, his world falls apart, and he makes a desperate journey south to find out why she hasn’t appeared. Over the next few months, he is drawn into a side of London he didn’t know existed, as a father’s love for his daughter costs him his job, his friends and his former life.
Find out much more about my books here.