The Danger of Life by Ken Lussey #BookReview #BlogTour

It is late 1942. Group Captain Robert Sutherland’s first week in charge of Military Intelligence 11’s operations in Scotland and northern England is not going smoothly. A murder at the Commando Basic Training Centre in the Highlands is being investigated by one of his teams, until events take an even darker turn that draws Bob in personally. He is also trying to discover who was behind an attempt to steal an advanced reconnaissance aircraft from a military airfield in Fife, an investigation made no easier by the perpetrator’s death.

The complication he could really live without comes via a telephone call from Monique Dubois in MI5. An operation she’s been running in Glasgow, without Bob or anyone else knowing, has gone badly wrong, and she wants him to intervene before it is entirely compromised.

The Danger of Life is a fast-paced thriller set in Scotland during the Second World War. It is Ken’s second novel to feature Bob Sutherland and Monique Dubois and picks up not long after the end of his first, Eyes Turned Skywards. The action moves back and forth across Scotland, with much of it set in Lochaber, where the present war intersects with another conflict that took place two centuries earlier: with deadly consequences.

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for The Danger of Life today. Many thanks to Ken Lussey, Fledgling Press and Kelly Lacey from Love Books Group Blog Tours for inviting me and for my digital copy of the novel.

John Buchan's novels are mentioned a couple of times in The Danger of Life which seems apt as this exciting thriller is definitely reminiscent of a Hannay story. 
Group Captain Robert - Bob - Sutherland is new to his role in charge of MI11 and is forced to hit the ground running when three separate incidents demand his attention. An attempt to steal a reconnaissance aircraft from a military airbase led to the death of the perpetrator but does at  least afford Bob the opportunity to take a flight in a Mosquito. The detailed descriptions here add a sense of authenticity to the book and that's true throughout the story; Ken Lussey's research and knowledge is obviously extensive and will undoubtedly please the military history enthusiasts who expect a high level of accuracy in their fiction. 
I'm far from being an expert when it comes to the factual side of things so while I appreciate the sense of time and place evoked, I'm looking for gripping action and there's plenty of that here too. The main part of the story is concerned with a murder which takes place at the Commando Basic Training Centre in Achnacarry. This is where the comparison with Buchan really comes into play as Bob's investigation leads to him experiencing the full force of the wet and windy Highlands. After the steady pace to the beginning of the novel, the scenes here are more dramatic with lucky escapes, near-misses and the odd stroke of luck for the likeable Sutherland. The case proves to be connected to Scotland's turbulent history with events that occurred over two hundred years ago leading to the shocking developments here. 
His relationship with Monique Dubois from MI5 isn't always smooth sailing and reflects the difficulties of wartime romances - particularly when the complexities of working for two rival agencies are taken into consideration too. The Danger of Life is the sequel to Eyes Turned Skyward but as I discovered, can easily be enjoyed as a standalone. That said, I'm sure readers of both will have a greater understanding of the history between Bob and Monique and I've certainly added it to my list of books to read. 
The third complication that Sutherland has to address also involves Madame Dubois and though not perhaps such an important part of the book as a whole, it does serve to highlight the necessary scheming that occurs during wartime and the lengths that were taken to mislead both the enemy and certain allies. The epilogue also suggests Bob's actions here may become more significant in subsequent books. The Danger of Life has a well-structured, believable plot,  I really enjoyed this exciting and suspenseful novel and recommend it to anybody who is looking for an addictive, action-packed wartime thriller.

The Danger of Life is published by Fledgling Press and can be purchased here.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

Ken Lussey spent his first 17 years following his family - his father was a Royal Air Force navigator - around the world, a process that involved seven schools and a dozen different postal addresses. He went to Hull University in 1975, spending his time there meeting his wife Maureen, hitch-hiking around Great Britain, and doing just enough actual work to gain a reasonable degree in that most useful of subjects, philosophy. The next step seemed obvious. He researched and wrote A Hitch-Hiker's Guide to Great Britain, which was published by Penguin Books in 1983. An inexplicable regression into conformity saw him become a civil servant for the next couple of decades, during which time he fulfilled the long-held ambition of moving to Scotland. In more recent times he has helped Maureen establish the website Undiscovered Scotland as the ultimate online guide to Scotland. Eyes Turned Skywards is his first novel.


  1. Thank you so much for supporting the blog tour! Great review!

    Meggy from Love Books Tours


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