Dead Ground

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Book 9 of The Spoils of War Collection
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Pub Date Oct 08 2024 | Archive Date Jul 04 2024
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A young British nurse experiences the devastating Spanish Civil War and the dark side of the espionage game. A gripping World War Two thriller in the Spoils of War Collection from Graham Hurley.

1936. Anglo-Breton translator Annie Wrenne is working in Madrid when the Spanish Civil War breaks out. Annie becomes a nurse on the front line, but after falling in love with a patient, she ends up pregnant – and abandoned – by a man she thought she knew.

Annie passes the rest of the war in a haze, her only consolation her relationship with mysterious Republican fighter Carlos Ortega. Annie finds herself caught up in Ortega's world, a web of intrigue, which leads to her recruitment into MI5.

On her first mission, Annie must pose as Ortega's wife and head to Algeciras. Hitler's Operation Felix – his plan to control the Mediterranean and force Churchill to the negotiating table – has been set into motion, and the 'couple' must help prevent the Nazis from seizing Gibraltar.

But Ortega has secretly been working for the Nationalists, part of Madrid's Fifth Column. If it falls to Annie – and Ortega – to save the day for the Allied cause, can she trust a man who has changed sides yet again?

Reviews for Graham Hurley

'Capable and understated characterization' Publishers Weekly
'So well-written you can smell the sweat and taste the fear' Peter May

A young British nurse experiences the devastating Spanish Civil War and the dark side of the espionage game. A gripping World War Two thriller in the Spoils of War Collection from Graham Hurley.


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ISBN 9781801108522
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Featured Reviews

The latest Graham Hurley novel is Dead Ground set primarily in Franco’s Spain. “Dead Ground” is a thrilling addition to the Spoils of War Collection.
Dead Ground” is a historical thriller set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War and World War II, featuring the character Annie Wrenne. The plot unfolds as Annie, an Anglo-Breton translator, finds herself in Madrid when the Spanish Civil War erupts in 1936. She becomes a nurse on the front lines and, after falling in love with a patient, ends up pregnant and abandoned by a man she believed she knew.
As the war progresses, Annie’s only solace is her relationship with Carlos Ortega, a mysterious Republican fighter. This connection leads her into a world of espionage and intrigue, culminating in her recruitment into MI5. For her first mission, Annie is tasked with posing as Ortega’s wife and traveling to Algeciras to thwart Hitler’s Operation Felix, a strategic plan aimed at controlling the Mediterranean and forcing Churchill to negotiate.
The stakes are high as the mission is critical to preventing the Nazis from taking Gibraltar. However, Annie faces a significant dilemma: Ortega has been secretly working for the Nationalists as part of Madrid’s Fifth Column. With Ortega’s loyalties in question, Annie must navigate a web of deception and determine whether she can trust a man who has repeatedly switched allegiances.
“Dead Ground” is a story of love, betrayal, and the complexities of wartime loyalties, offering readers a suspenseful journey through one of history’s most tumultuous periods
The novel is set in a richly detailed world that captivates the imagination and keeps the pages turning. Hurley’s skillful storytelling is evident as he weaves a complex narrative that is both gripping and thought-provoking.
Overall, “Dead Ground” is a must-read for fans of the genre and a testament to Graham Hurley’s talent as a writer. It’s a book that not only entertains but also leaves a lasting impression, making it a worthy addition to any thriller enthusiast’s collection

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The ninth in this pulsating Spoils of War series written by that marvellous writer Graham Hurley. Quite how Hurley has not become far more famous and well known is a total mystery to me.

I loved his police procedurals featuring Faraday, Winter and Suttle and adored the Enora Andresson series too.

The Spoils of War series shows his talent in writing second world war thrillers mostly featuring espionage and treachery and this is well up to standard with a wonderful heroine and trickery in abundance together with a dash of romance.

It is an intoxicating brew and made for an engrossing read.

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This is a complex and richly detailed story set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War. Anna, the central figure, is in Madrid when the war starts and signs up for front line duties as a nurse. She has an ill fated romance and then becomes involved with a strong Republican figure and is soon embroiled in espionage and a double life.

I know very little about the Spanish Civil War and this is the first book I’ve read by Graham Hurley. However, I was absolutely engrossed from start to finish. In addition to it being a carefully plotted adventure/ espionage tale, it was deftly woven into settings and events that are historically accurate. There’s a real sense of the era and the issues and it felt authentic. I’m going to look for other books in this series on the strength of this read, All the ingredients for a fast paced thriller, delivered with conviction. I loved it and my pulse raced more than once.

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