Clive Allan has drawn upon thirty years experience as a police officer and a profound knowledge of the Scottish Highlands in his crime thriller, The Drumbeater.
When skeletal remains are found buried on a beach near the remote Scottish village of Glendaig, the evidence points to murder, to a crime dating back seventy years to World War Two. The task of unravelling the mystery falls to history graduate Neil Strachan, now a career cop, fast tracked into a new role on Northern Scotlands Major Enquiry Unit. When Neil calls upon German naval historian, Matthias Fuchs, to help identify the remains, a name soon emerges, that of a dashing young U-boat ace who mysteriously disappeared in 1941: Korvettenkapitän Max Friedmann.
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The Drumbeater by Clive Allan
Published by Matador (January 28, 2014)
Format: Kindle edition, 448 pages
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My Review of The Drumbeater
As I read the synopsis for The Drumbeater and saw the book’s length, I questioned whether I wanted to read it. I enjoy historical fiction and mystery. But I’ve read several World War II stories recently. Did I want to read another, and a début novel at that?
I am so glad I decided to dive in and see what Clive Allan had brought to the table. Not once did I look back and regret it. If I weren’t working on my manuscript, The Drumbeater would have had me reading until I completed it.
Enjoyed What I Discovered
Allan’s career in police service enhances his writing. His background results in detailed characters, scenes, places, police activity, and dialogue. All this moves the plot along quickly and with ease. The story flowed exquisitely from one chapter’s end to the beginning of the next. Nothing was lost in transition.
Although he claims his English origins, Allan confesses to a long love affair with Scotland. Thus his choice of setting for The Drumbeater. Combine Allan’s love of Scotland, his background in police work, and an interest in military history, and you have the origin of Detective Inspector Neil Strachan.
DI Strachan is not your run of the mill detective. He has a graduate degree in history and struggles to build a good reputation in police work. Strachan is tasked with unraveling a mysterious case dating back to 1941. His only clue is the skeleton found in a grave on a Scottish beach.
Quirky characters from a nearby village may or may not be witnesses. But DI Strachan works hard to decide who’s telling the truth. Allan strives to weave together each strand so the reader has a seamless tale of deceit and honor.
If you’re a fan of great historical mystery harking back to WWII, you’ll like Allen’s, The Drumbeater. If you like settings in Great Britain and environs, specifically Scotland, you’re going to want to read this book. I urge you to pick up a copy, sit back, and enjoy!
If you follow me regularly, you know that I only show ratings when a book deserves a 5-star rating. And those don’t come along every day.
About the Author
Born in 1959, Clive Allan is a native of West Sussex, living near Chichester with his Scottish born wife. In 2008, he retired after thirty years police service, ending his career as an Inspector at Gatwick Airport. He now divides his time between the Sussex coast and his cottage in the Scottish Highlands.
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