You can no longer feel your toes, they went numb about an hour ago as the floor continues to be littered with shells. All around your comrades are being shot, blown apart and left limbless. Your ears have already become accustomed to automatic rifles that constantly plague your eardrums. The sky is grey with not a single cloud in sight. And then you see it. Looming out from the shadows, a battleship carrying what appears to be a man dangling from a rope. It can’t be? But it is and you only know of one man daring enough to laugh in the face of death. Sexton Blake.
Today on the blog I am reviewing Sexton Blake and the Great War (Sexton Blake Library Anthology Book 1 Published April 14th 2020 ) Introduced By Mark Hodder. A big thank you to the publishers Rebellion Publishing for my copy to review, always appreciated.
Sexton Blake and the Great War
As brilliant as Sherlock Holmes. As daring as James Bond. Sexton Blake, the adventuring detective, is back! This first volume of a new series reinstates one of literatures greatest detectives – back in print for the first time in decades!
BRITAIN AND GERMANY ARE AT WAR AND SEXTON BLAKE IS IN THE THICK OF IT
As the battle for the Western Front rages, adventuring detective Sexton Blake pits his intellect and physical prowess against the machinations of the Kaiser. A band of intrepid allies join Blake to take on the forces of evil in three classic stories, collected here for the first time.
From uncovering secret German naval bases to dangling from Zeppelins, fighting atop moving trains and escaping firing squads, Blake moves through war-torn Europe solving mysteries and fighting against tyranny.
Join him as he enters a war of secrets, soldiers and spies…
About Rebellion Publishing
Rebellion Publishing is the publishing division of leading European video games company Rebellion. Rebellion owners Chris and Jason Kingsley moved into publishing with the acquisition of legendary UK comic imprint 2000 AD in the year 2000. Rebellion Publishing has since expanded to include the creation of shared-worlds fiction imprint Abaddon Books in 2006, the award-winning science fiction and fantasy powerhouse Solaris in 2009, and has now acquired all of the fiction and comics publishing archive of 20th century behemoth IPC, which brings with it 130 years of classic British storytelling.
Based in Oxford, UK, Rebellion Publishing is an international publisher of the finest in traditional and cutting-edge Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Crime.
About The Editor
Mark Hodder is the author of the Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel The Strange Affair Of Spring Heeled Jack and its seven sequels, and of the first officially sanctioned Sexton Blake novel to have been published in nearly half a century (he created and maintains BLAKIANA: The Sexton Blake Resource). He also writes short stories, flash fiction and vignettes. Mark was born in the UK. He has worked as a commercial radio scriptwriter, a freelance copywriter, and as a web content producer for the BBC
This was my first encounter with the classic daring hero Sexton Blake. I am more of a Sherlock Holmes reader and Blake had just never crossed my path, until now. I had no expectations and was not disappointed. He has an eye for detail and a thirst for knowledge, approaching matters with quick thinking and rational thought. I can see why he was seen as an icon and can’t believe I am only experiencing his stories now. I have a lot of catching up to do.
Upon first impressions of meeting Sexton Blake, you know straight away that this character means business. He is the striking image of British heroism, he will do whatever is needed in order to succeed in his mission. He holds himself well and speaks his mind, being blunt and brash at times. He is truly fascinating to read as he keeps you guessing up until the last possible second of how is going to escape the clutches he’s fallen into once again. The stories pull you in, leaving you pumped with adrenaline and this is only book one dear readers. You are left hanging on every word, clinging on for dear life until you reach the end. It’s exhilarating, exhausting and exciting. I loved it!
We follow Sexton along with his assistant Tinker on three nail-biting adventures, written by different authors within these times. Each one opens with editor Mark Hodder conducting an interview with Sexton Blake at Baker Street. These interviews give the reader a small insight to the man behind the legend. The truth of his stories and not the over exaggerated assumptions made by others. At first he appears intimidating but you soon see the scars and damage that the war has left him with and long to hear more of his adventures. I imagined a booming voice yet softy spoken, one that captivates and soothes you as you sit back in the green leather high-back chair and listen. You learn a lot from these brief interactions and I found myself looking forward to each one.
The plots to each story are crafted and nurtured well by their respective writers. Keep in mind that these stories were written around the time of war. The authors would have been caught in the crossfire of an ongoing war. In an attempt to lift peoples spirits they would have hyped up and glorified some aspects in Blake’s stories for entertainment purposes. Readers could experience the danger of being caught by Kaiser Wilhelm II on his Zeppelin all from the safety of their homes. They could forget about everything falling apart around them and put their faith in heroic crime-fighting Sexton Blake. They could believe they would be saved and win the fight. It was something that could never be taken away from them, hope.
Although these tales were set in a different period surrounded by war, they have only matured with age. Like a fine vintage just waiting to be poured and tasted. Of course in our generation we are more aware of political correctness and ethnic slurs which have been edited in this book. Whilst I agree with this decision it is a shame in ways because leaving it unedited portrays the reality of the time that these stories are set in. Vastly different to how we view things today but it would have been interesting to have been exposed and fully immersed to the reality of life at the time. However I do understand and fully respect the editing of it in today’s society, so can’t really argue there dear reader.
I give Sexton Blake And The Great War Introduced By Mark Hodder a Four out of Five Paw rating.
I was on tenterhooks throughout, never knowing who was going to come bursting through the page with a gun pointed in my face. Action packed and full of tense moments, I highly recommend any thrill seekers and cunning detective readers to check this out. I could have sat in Blake’s study for hours, watching cigar smoke twirl while drinking brandy and listening to his stories. A classic with a fresh new introduction that will engross you into the world of Sexton Blake. Care for another brandy?
Hop hop wiggle wiggle