Peter James Cottrell
Kevin Flynn thought soldiering would be a great adventure but on the bloody killing fields of The Somme it became a nightmare. Disillusioned by war, he is unprepared for the bitter troubles dividing his home in Ireland, a squalid back street feud he neither understands nor cares for.
Drifting into the ranks of the Royal Irish Constabulary and posted to a quiet rural backwater the peace is shattered by the IRA. Sucked into a world where the stench of death is inescapable and divided loyalties turn old friends into enemies, Flynn must decide what he is prepared to do to save the woman he loves from the vengeance of the men who revile him as a traitor, one of Englandâ€™s Janissaries.
Peter Cottrell grew up in South Wales. He joined the Territorial Army whilst still in the sixth form and after qualifying as a teacher was commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1988. He later transferred into the armyâ€™s Educational and Training Services Branch, specialising in teaching military history and international relations. He retired in 2008 to teach English, history and classics and to pursue a career in writing. Englandâ€™s Janissary is his first novel.
UK Publication 29th February 2012
Price ÂŁ18.99 (h/b)
Peter has kindly sent me a draft of his new book to review. Based on real events and characters, it is a taut and action packed tale of a young Irish ex-soldier of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who joins the RIC after the Great War. The story weaves in key incidents such as the action at Ginchy (where Emmett Dalton won the Military Cross) and the fights at Drumlish and Ballinalee; with a storyline involving Sean MacEoin, Kitty Kiernan, D.I. Kelleher and even a cameo appearance from Eugene Igoe. Many of the RIC men in the story are based on actual names and personalities, such as Sgt James McLain and Constable Mullan.
The atmosphere and conditions of policing, both inside barracks and on patrol, are very accurately portrayed. Both sides - Crown Forces and Volunteers - undertake violent acts and reprisals, but these are entirely believeable within the context of the storyline.
This is an excellent first novel from Peter who is an established military historian and author. His other works include:
The Militarisation of Policing in Ireland: 1913-22 (Open University MA Thesis 2002)
Myth, the Military and Anglo-Irish Policing 1913-1922 (British Army Review No 133, Winter 2003)
The Anglo-Irish War, The Troubles, 1913-23 (Osprey Publishing 2006) ISBN 9781846030239
The Irish Civil War 1922-23 (Osprey Publishing 2008) ISBN 9781846032707
The War for Ireland 1913-23 - Editor and principal contributing author (Osprey Publishing 2009) ISBN 9781846039966
I Am Soldier - Contributing author (Osprey Publishing 2009) ISBN 1846035155
Lies, damned lies and statistics: a British perspective of policing the Anglo-Irish War: Paper delivered to the Military History Society of Ireland/National Museum of Ireland Conference marking the ninetieth anniversary of the outbreak of the Anglo-Irish War, Dublin, October 2009