Churchill's Gold

Quintrell Series Book 2

Fiction - Military
257 Pages
Reviewed on 02/27/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Eduardo Aduna for Readers' Favorite

Churchill's Gold, the second book in the Quintrell series by Clive Hawkswood, is an action-packed tale set during one of the darkest times of human history. Fresh from the relative success of his latest adventure, Captain Quintrell of the Belgian 11th Regiment de Ligne, together with his companions, must undertake a mission of the highest importance, one that can tip the war in their favor.

Military historical fiction is a hard thing to get right. You can have vivid characters that don't quite fit the era the author is trying to force them into. On the other hand, you can go the opposite route and have characters that become mere cardboard cutouts used to emphasize the historical setting the author is trying to showcase. Clive Hawkswood has made Quintrell a perfect character for his times. He is everything an anti-hero should be - brash, ruthless, and charismatic. He thrives in the backdrop of the First World War, and it is captivating to watch his suppressed humanity struggle against the inhumanity of war. There are many shades of honor and duty and Quintrell and his cohorts manage to express the nuances of men trying to do some good during evil times with fascinating realism. War is brutal, inscrutable and vicious, and luck is often the only thing that separates survivors from corpses. Hawkswood manages to capture the ever-present sense of danger and the uncertainty of every action taken by soldiers and non-combatants during war.

Churchill's Gold is filled with action and adventure, more than enough for casual late afternoon reading, yet it manages to imbue readers willing to think deeper with moments of introspection about morality, human nature and the horrors of conflict. A nostalgic read that reminded me so much of the Sharpe series, though the Quintrell novels are more polished, darker, and much more action-packed.

Paul Johnson

In October 1914, WWI is moving at a rapid pace. The city of Antwerp in Belgium is about to fall to the Germans. Winston Churchill, current First Lord of the Admiralty, is sent to the city to encourage the defending forces, but he also has another mission. After learning that a train packed with gold coins has been hidden behind enemy lines, his task is ensure that the wealth of the nation does not fall into German hands.

Captain John Quintrell, a Belgian officer known to Churchill for a previous successful mission, is chosen to secure the treasure. Quintrell and his group of British irregulars are to retrieve the train before Antwerp is overrun. But things don’t go as easily as they were led to believe and a series of serious problems soon arise. Meanwhile, getting the coins back is the least of Churchill's problems. A German secret society, the Ultima Thule Verband, has sent an assassin to kill him. When Quintrell discovers their plans he has to make a choice: does he save the gold or does he save Churchill.

Churchill's Gold by Clive Hawkswood is an interesting story with a lot of merit but also some minor flaws. The author has put together an interesting cast of characters. But a little early back story would have helped set the stage for the new story. Also, scene separators within a chapter would have made it flow a little easier. However, the plot was well developed and the overall flow was good as well as the dialogue. Small flaws aside, a good, well told story.

Michelle Stanley

Churchill’s Gold: Quintrell Series, Book 2 is a military fiction by Clive Hawkswood. In October 1914 Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, travels to Belgium to strengthen British control against the German army. Churchill assigns Captain John Quintrell the mission to retrieve a train loaded with gold coins behind enemy lines. Quintrell and his mismatched unit proceed to carry out their mission, but find the train abandoned and the gold missing. They come under attack from Germans while searching for the gold and rescue a refugee family that travels with them on the train. Quintrell learns about the plot to assassinate Churchill and hopes he can reach Antwerp to protect him in time. He soon realizes that it is not only the enemies of the state he has to worry about, but also the ones in his own unit.

Clive Hawkswood will not disappoint readers with Churchill’s Gold. This exciting military fiction captured my attention from the beginning. The engaging action and suspense start in the first chapter and continue to a nice conclusion. There are historical facts about Churchill and other interesting information to make the story more convincing in its warfare setting. The characters are strong and each one shows their own distinctive qualities that you will like or despise. The author’s skilful writing brought out the gripping, emotional aspects of war while giving insight into the characters' own thoughts of how it affected their lives. Churchill’s Gold is highly recommended.