“There is no traitor like him whose domestic treason plants the poniard within the breast that trusted to his truth.” — Lord Byron
Blurb: Caroline and Cyril have recently wed and are honeymooning on the Isle of Man, a glorious spot in the middle of the Irish Sea marked by picturesque villages, rocky cliffs, and bracing winds. Caroline is immediately drawn to the island’s history of rampaging Vikings, tales of mermaids and legendary kings, and the friendly inhabitants with quaint superstitions and proverbs. In no time, she falls in love with her surroundings.
But unexplainable events unfold, convincing her sinister forces are at work. Part by accident and part by design, Edward and Leslie join the couple, and together they must identify a turned British agent, retrieve a top secret document, and learn the true meaning of the phrase, “It all comes back to the camps.” Will logic and reason prevail, or will a bit of magic and island whimsy save the day?
Review: The saying goes, “All’s fair in love and war.” William Tecumseh Sherman even proclaimed, “War is hell,” something I’m sure no one would argue. There are lovers and liars and those who proclaim loyalty, then fall in league with the enemy, stealing secrets, selling them, and sabotaging the well-planned strategies of a nation fighting against the rise of tyranny.
Paul Alan Fahey’s Lovers & Liars Wartime Series is a blend of intrigue and espionage, of love and friendship and hardship set in the earlier years of World War II. A Manx Tale, the third installment in this series, shows how well life continued to march along, how people continued to fall in love and marry in spite of the daily reminders that the world around them was in a state of turmoil, poised to topple were it not for the courage of ordinary men and women and their willingness to jump into the fray. There is a mix of romance and treachery in this third installment, as Caroline and Cyril are honeymooning on the Isle of Man, an idyllic place rich in local lore that also happens to host an internment camp filled with people of enemy decent. They are both celebrating their marriage and discovering what mysteries the island holds, when a man from the past shows up unexpectedly to bring danger into their midst.
Alongside the blissful newlyweds, the author contrasts the relationship shared by Leslie and Edward, two men every bit as in love and partnered as Caroline and Cyril but forced by the times to keep that love a secret from the world at large, denied the validation of that love by a church whose laws forbid them the sacrament of marriage. For a couple I’ve grown to love, it was a very poignant contrast which Paul Alan Fahey then deftly manages to transform into another lovely and romantic facet added to Leslie and Edward’s story.
Brimming with atmosphere, this historical setting envelopes the reader and transports them to a place and time that is both real and vividly imagined. These are glamorous people set against the backdrop of a time spare in luxuries, and in the reading of these books, they have become friends with whom I’m always glad to spend time, participating in their adventures, commiserating with their trials, sympathizing with their cause, and I look forward to their continuing journey.