I read this book about 1-Mar-2004. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1974. This note was last modified Thursday, 22-May-2014 15:30:17 PDT.
This is book 5 of the "David Audley" series.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
Wow, I see I haven't reread any of the Anthony Price books since I started this log. I was reading them very heavily before that; I probably got near burnout for a while.
Price's fiction all revolves around David Audley. But he's not always the viewpoint character, once he doesn't even appear in the book. I hadn't really seen a series done this way before -- minor characters from one book become the viewpoint character in a later book, and then go back to having minor rolls after that. I find it works very well indeed.
Audley is a high-level intelligence analyst in England. He's the main genius in his department.
I initially read them in random order (originally what I found on a newsstand most recently while staying in England in 1987), and have never really collated the timelines or read them "in order". So I can't tell you precisely where this one comes. But it's the origin story for Paul Mitchell, who's important in a number of other books. In this one, he starts out as a promising young historian, and gets sucked into one of Audley's operations, which goes pretty bad, and they escape by the skin of their teeth.
Like many of the Audley books, this one mixes a historical puzzle with a current puzzle. In this case, it's a World War I mystery -- how did the "Poachers" take the Prussian Redoubt in the battle of Hameau Ridge on the Somme? The answer ends up explaining why there are 100 tons of high explosives still buried in the ground there—directly under the site of a major secret international conference.