Historical Fiction Thriller

Nucleus – Rory Clements

12 June 2019
Nucleus Book Cover Nucleus
Tom Wilde
Rory Clements
Spy stories

From the award-winning Sunday Times bestselling author of CORPUS The eve of war: a secret so deadly, nothing and no one is safe June 1939. England is partying like there is no tomorrow, gas masks at the ready. In Cambridge the May Balls are played out with a frantic intensity - but the good times won't last... In Europe, the Nazis have invaded Czechoslovakia, and in Germany he persecution of the Jews is now so widespread that desperate Jewish parents send their children to safety in Britain aboard the Kindertransport. Closer to home, the IRA's S-Plan bombing campaign has resulted in more than 100 terrorist outrages around England. But perhaps the most far-reaching event of all goes largely unreported: in Germany, Otto Hahn has produced the first man-made fission and an atomic device is now a very real possibility. The Nazis set up the Uranverein group of physicists: its task is to build a superbomb. The German High Command is aware that British and US scientists are working on similar line. Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory is where the atom was split in 1932. Might the Cambridge men now win the race for a nuclear bomb? Hitler's generals need to be sure they know all the Cavendish's secrets. Only then will it be safe for Germany to wage war. When one of the Cavendish's finest brains is murdered, Professor Tom Wilde is once more drawn into an intrigue from which there seems no escape. In a conspiracy that stretches from Cambridge to Berlin and from Washington DC to the west coast of Ireland, he faces deadly forces that threaten the fate of the world. Praise for CORPUS 'Dramatic...pacy and assured' Daily Mail 'Political polarisation, mistrust and simmering violence' The Times 'A standout historical novel and spy thriller' Daily Express Praise for RORY CLEMENTS 'Enjoyable, bloody and brutish' Guardian 'Sends a shiver down your spine' Daily Mail 'A colourful history lesson . . . exciting narrative twists' Sunday Telegraph.

Nucleus is the second book in this series and with this book, Rory Clements did an incredibly good job of creating a unique and thrilling fictional piece of work, whilst amalgamating many historical events and conflicts that were occurring during the Second World War period. 

I think it clever to incorporate actual organisations and people who heroically assisted Jewish people, especially the young children to escape from Germany. This adds weight and realism to his developing plot. Being able to introduce in a subtle way the back stories and incidents intertwined which helped influence the progression of the war. For example, hinting at the conflict Roosevelt was experiencing between those who believed it to be Europe’s problem and not America’s and being lobbied by many factions including those with strong anti-Semitic beliefs.

The real pressing battle going on was the first to create the ultimate weapon – the atomic bomb.
The conflict Britain had with the IRA using the opportunity to forward its agenda of a united Ireland through domestic sabotage was not helped by The Republic of Ireland’s later decision to remain neutral, once the war was declared between Britain and Germany. Finally, the plot unravelling within Cambridge University, the recruiting ground for Russian spies a ring which went on to operate for decades. 

Rory Clements managed to achieve this whilst maintaining a natural flow which made it an enjoyable read. As someone who enjoys history, I was impressed with how he integrated real events and organisations that existed. The real espionage that was occurring during that period all linked via this plot created a superb read without being drowned by History and the fear of becoming a historical book.

Rory Clements has continued to develop his character Tom Wilde who is believable and fascinating to follow.

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley peter@thereadingdesk.com

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