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The Blockade Runners Reviewed By Dr. Wesley Britton of Bookpleasures.com
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Dr. Wesley Britton

Reviewer Dr. Wesley Britton: Dr. Britton is the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in literature and the media. Starting in fall 2015, his new six-book science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted via BearManor Media. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents where he contributed interviews with a host of entertainment insiders. Before his retirement in 2016, Dr. Britton taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College. Learn more about Dr. Britton at his WEBSITE

 
By Dr. Wesley Britton
Published on September 11, 2018
 

Author: Peter Vollmer

Publisher: Endeavour Media(August 17, 2018)
ASIN: B07G4FX1Y2

My first paragraph here is almost word-for-word  how I opened my 2017 review of Peter Vollmer’s A Question of Allegiance: 

I may not have been the very first one, but I was certainly among the earliest reviewers of the novels of South African writer Peter Borchard a.k.a. Peter Vollmer.     My reviews began with 2011’s Relentless Pursuit, continued with 2012’s Diamonds Are But Stone, and 2015’s Left For Dead. Of special interest was his 2015 Per Fine Ounce, a continuation novel featuring a character named Geoffrey Peace created by fellow South African novelist Geoffrey Jenkins, a writer with notable connections with Ian Fleming.


Author: Peter Vollmer

Publisher: Endeavour Media (August 17, 2018)
ASIN: B07G4FX1Y2
My first paragraph here is almost word-for-word  how I opened my 2017 review of Peter Vollmer’s A Question of Allegiance: 

I may not have been the very first one, but I was certainly among the earliest reviewers of the novels of South African writer Peter Borchard a.k.a. Peter Vollmer. My reviews began with 2011’s Relentless Pursuit, continued with 2012’s Diamonds Are But Stone, and 2015’s Left For Dead. Of special interest was his 2015 Per Fine Ounce, a continuation novel featuring a character named Geoffrey Peace created by fellow South African novelist Geoffrey Jenkins, a writer with notable connections with Ian Fleming.

Once again, I’m happy to report Vollmer remains a master in his descriptions of international settings and very developed characters. He’s able to vividly capture historical times and places; in the case of The Blockade Runners, his focus is on Rhodesia in 1965 when the U.N. has imposed an embargo on the country to put pressure on Prime Minister Ian Smith to accept majority rule and not continue his minority white government.

The main character of the novel is rugged, womanizing South African banker David Tuck.  Despite his military background, he’s known for his accounting skills, especially with international accounts. His South African bank, in its Rhodesian offices, recruits him to be the paymaster for smugglers wanting to bring in oil, weapons, and helicopters illegally into Rhodesia. He has no idea what he’s getting into, to put it mildly. 

Soon, he’s paired with the alluring Gisela Mentz, a former East German operative for the Stasi. Together, blending Gisela’s undercover training and Tuck’s quick reflexes and resourcefulness, they travel to Europe and the Middle East to arrange for the secret transfers of funds to smugglers willing to run the U.N. embargo. While France and Germany are willing to look the other way, Britain has a very different agenda. MI6 goes so far as to send out assassins to take out Tuck and Mentz as covertly as possible.

So Tuck and Mentz, quickly romantically involved, are in constant danger and have a series of near-misses and escapes.  Adding to the danger, Mentz has inherited a Rhodesian farm targeted by black revolutionaries who want to chase whites out of their country.  So, the pair are literally under the gun both when operating around the globe and at home as well. 

While The Blockade Runners may not be a pure spy vs. spy espionage thriller,  it has all the tropes of such novels.  There are numerous chase scenes, deadly fights in exotic locations, clever twists from David Tuck’s fertile mind, generous sex scenes, and complex international chess moves.  In short, The Blockade Runners should appeal to readers of Fleming, Graham Greene, Eric Ambler, and all the other old-fashioned thriller writers versed in international intrigue. Vollmer has gone down this road before—I’m delighted to see he’s at it again. I also appreciate the irony—from beginning to end, readers will be rooting for the bad guys. After all, blockade runners are the criminals.