The Devil's Pact
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Jack Tanner's war takes him to the treacherous sands of the North African desert.
August, 1942. North Africa. The desert war hangs in the balance. Although their retreat has finally been halted, morale in the British Army is at rock bottom. When the commander of the Eighth Army, General Gott, is killed, it seems that foul play is at work. An impenetrable Axis spy circuit could be compromising any hope the Allies have of stemming the Nazi tide.
Jack Tanner, recovering from wounds in a Cairo hospital, is astonished to receive a battlefield commission which will propel him into a very different world when he returns to action. Fit once more, he finds himself facing the full onslaught of Rommel's latest offensive.
In its aftermath, Tanner and his trusty sidekick Sykes are recruited to work behind the Axis lines in a desperate attempt to take the fight to the Nazis. But the murky world of subterfuge, deceit and murder they find themselves a million miles away from the certainties of the battlefield and somehow they must discover who they can trust in the cat-and-mouse world of counter-espionage.
Hellfire sees Tanner fighting his way through his most dangerous adventure yet -- one that takes him from the dark backstreets of Cairo to the open Mediterranean and finally to one of the decisive clashes of the entire war -- the Battle of Alamein.
For a split second, the Italian stared at Tanner open-mouthed, and then Tanner lunged, this time towards the heart, and the man gasped and fell towards him, dropping his Beretta. Tanner tried to grab it, but it was dark, the man was falling heavily, and suddenly the weapon was clattering down the steps. ‘Elio?’ called Camprese. There was panic in his voice now, Tanner could tell. He wondered what to do. There was only Camprese left, he was certain. No doubt he was standing by the girls, a weapon
Mafia are shrouded in myth. What is not in doubt, however, is that during the years of Fascist rule, Mussolini made it a priority to stamp out the Mafia, sending to Sicily a particularly tough and uncompromising Fascist governor called Cesare Mori. During his time on the island, Mori arrested some eleven thousand suspected Mafiosi, and restricted Mafia influence to a few isolated pockets deep in the interior, such as that of Villalba. Mori left the island in 1929, claiming the Mafia was finished,
seen an old lady in black staring at them with tears rolling down her face. ‘Why are you sad?’ he had asked her. ‘Italy is going to be great again!’ She had put a hand to his face. ‘My boy, you have no idea what you are saying. May God protect you.’ Togliatti cringed now at the memory. What a callow, feckless youth he had been, falling for Mussolini’s rhetoric and believing what the Duce had promised. ‘We will win!’ he had assured them. A new Rome, a new Empire, one that bound the Mediterranean
had been established, but with views back down to the beaches and to the hills beyond. A good spot. Wiseman had not even finished his smoke when Alexander emerged from the map tent, looking as dapper and unruffled as ever, followed by Patton and others. Alexander chatted amiably, made some amusing remark, at which the others laughed, then stepped into his waiting command car and, moments later, sped off. Wiseman watched Patton punch his hand a couple of times, then turn back into the tent. A
but lacks fighting experience. With Peploe gone, the battalion needs you as two i/c. So, please, take the bloody promotion and do as you’re told.’ Tanner was silent for a moment, then said, ‘Is that an order, sir?’ ‘If you like, yes. Do you think I haven’t got better things to do than waste time arguing with you?’ Tanner said nothing. ‘And that’s not all, Tanner. It seems we’re in for a bit of a tougher fight than we’d first thought. Last night our airborne troops were dropped on a key bridge