It is 1930 and Malta, in the grip of foreign rule, seethes with discontent. Jack Gibson journeys to the fortress-colony in a bid to escape a tragic past. Captain Cesare Tabacchini of the Italian secret police is also travelling to Malta but with a very different purpose. Under dictator Benito Mussolini, fascist Italy aims to bring Malta into its sinister orbit and Tabacchini has a mission – the overthrow of the British regime. And caught between the two men is Flavia Depasquale – a modern woman at odds with a traditional society.
Torn by loyalty to his country or to the woman he has come to love, Gibson is slowly, irrevocably, dragged into the clandestine struggles of a continent inexorably edging towards war.
This novel will take you back to the 1930s, an era so beautifully and sensitively evoked that as I read this page turner I felt like I was there, roaming Valletta’s pre-war streets, conscious that in a short time they will be reduced to rubble. The 1930s was a time rushing headlong towards disaster and tragedy, and perhaps this thriller has hidden within its pages overflowing with espionage and romance a number of lessons for our own days. Enjoy.
Alex Vella Gera