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Queen's Ransom
Jim Ring

Queen's Ransom

Fiction & Poetry

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Synopsis

Please note that hard copies of Queen's Ransom from our limited print edition can be ordered by contacting martin@wet-zebra.com directly, or by getting in touch through our site's Contact form.

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Who has kidnapped the heir to England’s throne and where have they taken her?

 

It’s 1946. The Third Reich has just completed its subjection of Europe. At a victory parade in London, Hitler is assassinated, so unleashing a chain of events that sees the snatching of the teenage princesses Elisabeth and Margaret, their pursuit all over the country by German, British and American forces, a terrifying discovery, and a trans-Atlantic chase to New York that culminates in the explosion of the first atomic bomb. 

 

In his debut thriller, biographer and historian Jim Ring brings the skills that won him two major literary prizes to a new genre. The result is entrancing.

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Extract

It was in the Map Room that we three gathered. There, in front of us, lay the Ordnance Survey map of the southern counties of our green and pleasant land. The last positions of Field Marshal Gort’s and Rommel’s forces were neatly marked, a china-graph pencil hovering over Deptford. The chairs were pushed back, the ashtrays full, and the unshaded light threw the stained brown filing cabinets that lined the wall into sharp relief. On the sideboard stood a bottle of Haig, a soda-siphon, and a glass. Was it my imagination, or could I still detect the faint aroma of a cigar? It was as though we had stepped out for ten minutes’ fresh air, only to return to shelter from Rommel’s howitzers on Constitution Hill as they finally got the range of the Household Cavalry entrenched at the end of Charles Street.


Time might have stood still 110 feet beneath Whitehall, but not elsewhere.  Hitler was not supposed to be in the country. Nevertheless, we had reason to believe that he would address the multitude that evening in the course of the rally in the Mall to celebrate the victory of the Nazi forces in Europe. Indeed, we thought – as we spoke that morning – that a reception party led by Reichskommisar Heydrich was already on its way to the airfield at Hendon to meet the Führer. We had to decide who was to have the privilege of helping the Corporal over the Styx and perhaps take a seat himself on the ferry. We three, as heads of the Services, had been working since the Armistice on 1 August 1940 towards such an end. Now – God willing – it was time to agree which of us was finally to make an end of Mr Hitler. It was down to the luck of the draw.


 

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