Action Adventures with a Dash of Romance
After flying training in the RAF, Rolf Richardson moved to Civil Aviation and 25 years with BOAC and British Airways, flying Britannias, VC10s & 747s. This confirmed him as a travel freak, so he carried on in similar vein, wandering the world as a travel photographer and then a Cruise lecturer. Seemed a pit to waste all this experience, so he has now taken to writing about it, so far three 'easy reads', which aim to entertain and hopefully inform, with a dash of humour and romance. "The Last Weiss" is set in Germany and Norway during the final year of WW2. "Coffin Corner" invents a new airline in early 1960s Singapore. "Bear Bugger cruise" takes us to the present day and the cruise industry.
It's the dawn of a new decade: 1960. Archie, a young RAF pilot looking for pastures new, gets a job with an airline based in Singapore. His older colleagues are of the war-time generation, trained to complete the mission, almost regardless of cost. But it's now peacetime and the new mantra is maximum safety.
Unfortunately, the tools of the aviation trade in the early 1960s were primitive by today's standards. Scarcely a week went by without the wreckage of an airliner appearing on the front pages. Archie's initial workplace was the Bristol Britannia, a sedate looking aircraft that hid some of the strangest designs ever to grace the skies. Add the constant threat of the tropical rainbelt and you have an environment that can hardly be described as friendly.
This is a story of people who worked in the 'teenage years' of the airline industry: the pilots, engineers and cabin crew; the entrepreneur who got the airline off the ground; the ageing aviatrix, with progressive ideas, in charge of personnel. It's also a story of the struggle to rebuild Singapore after the ravages of war; and to navigate the thorny path from being a colony to independence.
The action radiates from the airline's base at Singapore: to Calcutta, Karachi, Phuket, Darwin and Australian outback. Finally, Archie has to face a problem that still tests pilots 50 years on: Coffin Corner.
In the final year of the Second World War, a Lancaster bomber is shot down over Nazi Germany. The tail gunner, a Norwegian named Per, is the only survivor. Tramping through Germany in a seemingly hopeless quest to avoid being sent to a POW camp, he happens to save the life of young Benni, the last son of a prominent family.
Hailed as a hero, with Germany now desperate for labour, and his status uncertain, Per is put to work in the town's gasthof, where he quickly makes friends with the local people. Especially Siggy, Benni's mother.
But in Nazi Germany death is never far away and soon Per's situation becomes precarious. When a top Nazi, Gauleiter Frunze, with his own mysterious agenda, offers Per a chance to return to Norway, he accepts. In spite of the extraordinary condition attached to this offer.
Per's action thriller life resumes in Norway, amongst the top echelon of the occupying Nazis, who are desperately trying to salvage whatever they can in the last, losing days of the Second World War.
As the Third Reich collapses in a welter of chaos and blood, Per finds both his personal life and that of his country heading towards a climax. An action thriller and historical romance with twists and turns that will keep you reading until the very last page, 'The Last Weiss' is a Second World War novel you will not want to miss.
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Bear Bugger Cruise
Two days into a world cruise a man is reported overboard, but no one appears to be missing. As she heads for the Caribbean the good ship Gioconda faces further problems. What about that unsavoury passenger in the owner's suite? And can the Bear Bugger keep the old ship going?
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