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The Shackleton Affair - A Raymond Armstrong Novel
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Former MI6 operative Raymond Armstrong is approached by a colleague to help investigate a curious robbery. Only a rare scotch whisky, jewellery and one masonic item were taken. A series of incidents leads Raymond back to his ex-employer, who strongly advise him to drop the inquiry. Raymond suspects the British government have a secret department within the national archives that is protecting sensitive historic facts. Raymond is convinced the masonic piece is a direct connection to Sir Ernest Shackleton, the heroic explorer and Queen Alexandra of Great Britain. The discovery of more whisky from Shackleton’s Endurance expedition, followed by two more thefts, brings the story to a climatic game of cat & mouse between Raymond and the thief. Meanwhile, MI6 are watching Raymond’s every move, as he gets closer to unravelling a cover up the government have kept secret for over one hundred years. One of the most significant unsolved crimes in British history!
A highly entertaining and crisply executed cat-and-mouse mystery, The Shackleton Affair is the latest release from Michael J Gill. Delivering a densely plotted and nicely crafted narrative, Gill is certainly suited to this genre with a genuine appreciation for how the best mysteries should play out. With plenty of momentum there's riveting attention to the detail that creates an overall sense of suspense and an authentic feel to Armstrong’s world and yet the most intriguing aspect of Gill’s novel isn’t necessarily the how, but the why. With a host of well nuanced characters, it seems everyone has a secret, but it’s why they choose to guard them that becomes the real meat of the drama. With subtle misdirection and keenly placed clues, Gill isn’t quick to give the game away and ably manages to keep readers on tenterhooks to his closing chapters, with a refreshing absence of loose ends.
A genuine page-turner, sure to find favour with armchair sleuths, The Shackleton Affair makes for an enthralling read. Definitely deserving of a place on your bookshelf it is recommended without reservation.
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