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|Author||I D Roberts|
It is 1914 and while battles rage across Europe, three empires – the Ottoman, the German and the British – fight for dominance in the Middle East. The merciless landscape of Persia and Mesopotamia are prizes to be claimed by the most ruthless opponent.
In the midst of the chaos is Kingdom Lock. Working for the British Intelligence Service known as the White Tabs, Lock is sent to Persia on a commission from the Australian Infantry Force. His mission: to prevent a German spy from inciting jihad and rebellion among the Muslim tribes and from seizing control of the precious oilfields. But before then, having recently rescued Amy Townshend, the daughter of a top ranking British officer, from Turkey, he now finds that he must save her from the clutches of death once more. It’s a task that seems destined to fail with bloodthirsty, relentless Turks at every turn . . .
To complete his mission, Lock must stay one step ahead of the war raging around him. And to make matters worse, Amy’s fiancé, an aristocratic young officer, is none too pleased about Lock’s developing relationship with his future wife. In this super-charged adventure, can Kingdom Lock survive the dangers that threaten him?
What The Critics Said
'Well-researched, fast paced and gutsy, the novels of Kingdom Lock are blisteringly good, reminiscent of Cornwell's early Sharpe novels...'
'This is a rip-roaring read, brimming with suspense'
Good Book Guide
'This is a rip-roaring adventure set in a perilous but picturesque theatre of war, brimming with suspense and it may keep you awake late into the night.'
The Good Book Guide
'Lock is a superb character, a WW1 James Bond, if you like. Stunningly enjoyable.'
Deidre Amos –
I loved this book! I wasn’t sure what to expect, as I don’t usually read historical fiction, but it has everything… adventure, love interest, espionage and the main character is so intriguing and interesting, a real James Bond of the first world war. I can’t wait to read the next book by I.D Roberts. I could also see this as a film/mini series, it is so visual and has many contemporary issues as well. I highly recommend this book.
Richard Villagrasa –
I usually read Sci-fi and fantasy novels and my hero is a guy called Mick Farren a bit of a counter culture chap ! Kingdom Lock REALLY appealed to me because he shared a characteristic from my favourite authors leading men. A certain seperateness , something that marks him as an outsider yet compelling and interesting at the same time aka James Bond and his most fascinating. A very tricky style to get right and thus all the more impressive from a first novel. I care about Lock and what happens to him. I WANT to read a sequel and yes , as mentioned by other reviewers , this novel has TV tie in written all over it !!!! Ian Roberts has created a colourful, real and dynamic world from an historical context, peopled with heroines, villains , a dashing hero and a rip roaring sleigh ride straight through the middle of the British class system of the early 20th century ! Just what the doctor ordered !!! Richard Villagrasa
Nick Sharp –
Having been forced to study WW1 literature at school for two years, I’ve read quite a range of fiction based throughout this period but I’ve never read anything quite like Kingdom Lock. Roberts tells a throughly entertaining, fast paced story through the eyes of the hero who is a bit of a Bond-Tintin-Sharpe hybrid.
What’s different about Lock though, is the story centres around a bit of the WW1 campaign which isn’t too familiar to many of us – the war in the Middle East. The contrasts to the more recent Gulf wars mean that many of the places are recognisable which make the similarities to today very striking.
That said, there is still room for some superbly written battle scenes which bring out the gruesome violence and confusion of trench warfare in a frightening level of detail.
Kingdom Lock is throughly enjoyable. The only problem? The story finishes. Bring on book 2!
Beth Williams –
If military fiction isn't your cup of tea, don't be put off by the synopsis of Kingdom Lock because this tale of wartime combat is so much more than regiments, ranks and rifles.
OK, yes, it's very much a spy adventure set in World War One and fans of the genre will love it, but author I.D. Roberts manages to keep military lingo and other elements referenced at just the right rate to allow other more human elements of this adventure story to shine through.
And shine through they do. This is a very human story as well as a gripping adventure. Kingdom Lock is your classic hero ' a handsome, independent, brave, strong and confident Australian man who's sent by the British Intelligence Service to Persia to find and intercept a dangerous German spy before he can seize control of the oilfields. He's everything you expect from a hero but what's great is that Lock also has his flaws and weaknesses and it's really these human qualities that bring this character to life on the page. Indeed, Roberts builds an increasingly colourful picture of Lock as a sometimes hot-headed man who's not immune to the charms of a pretty girl or the addictive power of nicotine, a man who wears a jacket with an alarming hole in the breast pocket, who carries a blood-stained handkerchief around with him, and who turns to his trusty cigarettes at every opportunity.
Lock isn't Roberts's only vivid creation in this book either. Attention to period detail is fantastic. From settings to characters to clothes, traditions and cultures, I.D. Roberts has created a truly sensory experience throughout. He also does a great job of drawing out the personal nature of war, painting both the beautiful moments and the horrors as part of the hero's journey and experiences.
You won't go wrong with this adventure tale. It's a very satisfying and entertaining read and its clever structure and intriguing plot points keep the reader riveted throughout. I was sad to finish this book and I'm already looking forward to the next one.
Lucy Greenaway –
The book is set in a fascinating landscape which is beautifully described really bringing the story alive… there must be a film there? The story has great pace with some great characters, you can’t fail to like Kindom Lock and his gang of dispossessed soldiers.
I thought this was a great read, and can’t wait for the next instalment.
Sally Richards –
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, i couldn’t put it down, and recommend it to everyone, whether they like war stories or not. This has a contemporary twist to it aswell, a war over oil, set in Iraq and the surrounding area. I look forward to book two.
Deb Amos –
I read this book on the recommendation of a friend and was not disappointed!
The description of the various settings was very precise which enabled full engagement with the action.
I particularly liked the final battlefield scene. It was written with lots of suspense and surprises and kept the reader guessing until the very end.
Considering this is a first novel, I feel there must have been a fair amount of research into the subject by the author, who has written with authority and confidence in the material. I hope there will be another episode very soon!
Chris Roddick –
A ripping yarn which has such a pace making it hard to put the book down. I know i’m reading a good book when it’s as real as watching a good movie. The horror of war is well depicted as is the stupidity of the ruling class officers. Kingdom Lock is a thoroughly entertaining read and i’m waiting for the next adventure……………..
David Rose –
My signed hardback copy of Kingdom Lock now sits proudly on my bookshelf, having been my bedtime reading for the last couple of months. The worst thing about a book this gripping is that when it’s over I don’t know what to do with myself for a while. As soon as I began reading this story, I quickly became absorbed in the world of Kingdom Lock. I wanted him to thrive, I was on his side. The story itself was hugely enjoyable, beginning with a classic Bond-like sequence, and continuing at a fantastic tempo, with occasional lulls here and there, all the way to the final climactic scenes. I cannot wait for the next episode of what I sincerely hope will be an ongoing series of books. It sits naturally, for me, on the same shelf as the Sharpe and Hornblower series (and I can easily see this as a movie, too). One thing which powerfully affected me was how the writer managed to bring a contemporary feel to the environments and the people, whilst respecting the period perfectly. The battle sequences felt especially real, while not being overly graphic. I have never felt like I could actually touch that world and that era so closely before. There is much more to say in praise, but I hope I have adequately expressed some of my appreciation for this excellent debut novel. Keep writing Mr. Roberts! From a dedicated fan.
I have heard the phrase page turner but didn’t know what it meant until I read this book. This fantastic story transported me into a gripping tale of class, lust and battle as well as filling out, through fabulous, lightly handled, historical and geographical detail, a fresh perspective on this complex region and its wars.
Patsy Sharp –
I do not usually read historical fiction but was recommended this book by a friend. I found it a very exciting read, it was superb! Would you be so kind to let me know when the next book is out.
Brilliant. A very well written book. I enjoyed every page.
Richard Davies –
I read this book in two days over the holidays, I couldn’t put it down, it was full of everything I love, espionage, adventure, WW1.. I am very interested in WW1 and just love how the author has captured the time, using real characters aswell as fictional character. The main character, has strength, leadership, but also shows his vulnerable side. The critic who said it was like James Bond in WW1 was very accurate. I can’t wait for Book Two.
graham sanders –
This book is a real page turner, i read it in three days, can’t recommend it enough. Looking forward to book 2!