Harvey Blacks Debut novel, ‘Devils with Wings’ follows the fortunes of Paul and Max, members of the elite fallschirmjaeger parachute regiment who in 1940 lead the assault on the fortress Eben Emael in Belgium.
First off we follow Paul, as he completes his training, enduring tough physical exercise and intensive weapon training. He survives everything that his instructors throw at him and after completing his parachute training he is posted as an officer to the famous fallschirmjaeger parachute regiment. Here he meets Max, a tough and experienced NCO who takes Paul under his wing.
They form a close relationship while cutting their teeth in Poland, where Paul comes to the attention of his senior officers and he and his company are selected for a special mission sanctioned by the Furher himself.
Paul and Max find themselves back in training, this time working with gliders and preparing to attack Eben Emael, the formidable Belgium fortress. Paul and Max must use all of their training and experience to guide their company though the mission that is critical to the Furhers plans in the west.
I have always avoided fiction books about the Second World war, a bad experience with them as a teenager had put me off so I approached this book with some trepidation. I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I enjoyed the story because even though I had heard of the attack on Eben Emael I didn’t really know any details about it.
The story is well paced and very well researched. The authors own military background comes though in his writing especially when it comes to the banter between Max, Paul and the rest of the company. The relationship between Paul and Max is a real strength of the book and I’m looking forward to this developing in further book.
If I had a criticism of the book it would be that every now and then, it felt that you were reading a factual account of the attack, this was especially evident at the beginning of each chapter. This is only a minor criticism as it doesn’t interfere in the pace of the story.
This is a great debut book from Harvey Black and I am looking forward to the second book as Paul and Max participate in the invasion of Crete.
Devils with Wings: Silk Drop should hopefully be released towards the end of November.