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Spy fiction that is both credible and exciting with a strong flavour of recognisable but different times requires your full attention. When looking for something to read the height of the score overall and the numbers of readers responsible and any reputation of the author draw attention to any book. Five stars from a majority...including me..is persuasive. You must pay attention to avoid confusion but this is an interesting and enjoyable yarn which prods the reader along to its happy ending.
Really loving these new characters and thoroughly enjoyed this new installment of the series a very hard to put down book rory has woven a brilliant story and you as a reader are really drawn into it so sad that im finished it
Rory Clements certainly knows how to pack a novel with action and information. In Nucleus (I love a one word book title) he gives us a classic ‘Ripping Yarn’ with lots of action set among the academia of Cambridge. He also gives a detailed background into life in the UK in 1939 when war was seen as inevitable. Nucleus has many storylines which all weave together but Clements tells them in a clear and easy manner enabling the reader to be fully aware of what is happening.
Tom Wilde makes a great all-action hero. I loved the mental image of him racing his motorcycle along the country lanes; no helmet or leathers and his shirtsleeves rolled up. He is supported by some wonderful characters, ranging from the glamorous Clarissa to a tough ex-jockey. My favourite was the hard working mother and tart-with-a-heart persona of Fanny. For authenticity the author also includes some real characters including Bertha Bracey and Frank Foley.
One measure of a good historical novel is how much I learn from its story and how much it encourages me to research further. Yes, I already knew quite a lot about the Kindertransport but following Nucleus I found myself looking up the 1939 IRA S-Plan bombing campaign, the beautiful Rudge 1938 Special and biographies of Foley and Bracey.
The story and intrigue builds throughout, culminating in an all action finish with a few surprises. No reader will be able to resist cheering on Tom and his fellow good-guys as they break the spy ring and ensure that our scientific secrets are kept safe.
My paperback copy had a sticker marked “for fans of Robert Harris”. I can understand why but I look forward to a time when Rory Clements can market his books “for fans of Rory Clements”. I have awarded Nucleus a nearly perfect four and a half stars.
Book reviewed on Whispering Stories Blog *I received a free copy of this book, which I voluntarily reviewed.
Reviewed in the United States on February 15, 2018
This very thrilling and suspenseful book is the 2nd volume of the "Tom Wilde series" from the wonderful great author Rory Clements. It's another exciting spy thriller, and very entertaining and spellbound, so much so that it keeps the reader gripped from start to finish. Story-telling is as ever of a top-notch quality, for the author certainly has the ability as in this series, as well he did in the John Shakespeare series, to keep you captivated with his story, and this time it's the dark and gloomy world of WW II with all its horrors, dangers and death. All the characters once again, whether they are real, like Frank Foley and Bertha Bracey in Berlin, or fictional, come splendidly to life within this story of espionage and human sacrifice, while the story also presents the atmosphere of the 1930s in a very bright and clear fashion against this very dark and gloomy background. This book sets off in the year 1939, in the month of April and will end in June, with Europe and Britain on the verge of WW II with all the destruction and horrors that it will bring, and with our main character Professor Thomas Wilde of Cambridge University just having arrived home after visiting his mum in America. In the meantime the Nazis have invaded Czechoslovakia and Jews are persecuted in Germany, while the IRA are on a bombing campaign around Britain, when suddenly there comes news that Otto Hahn has made the atomic bomb possible, and now the German High Command turns its attention towards Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory. So when one of the Cavendish's finest brains is murdered, with the like of Dr. Birbach, Professor Tom Wilde is called into action to investigate this death, and this death will unveil a conspiracy from German sympathizers who will do anything, even murder and torture, to obtain the secrets from this Cavendish Laboratory. Tom Wilde also finds out that the kidnap of the boy Albert, Dr. Eva Haas's 8-year old son, is of the uppermost importance, so if he wants to stop this conspiracy with all the gravely dangers that it will bring, he knows that he needs to find and rescue this boy, and by doing so to secure the fate of the world for now. Highly recommended, for this is a very enjoyable Tom Wilde, and not to forget Lydia Morris, adventure, and so for me this is for certain: "A Most Formidable Spy Thriller"!
Reviewed in the United States on February 18, 2018
British author Rory Clements is the author of the popular "John Shakespeare" series of historical fiction, set in the court of Elizabeth I. His new book, "Nucleus" is the second in his new "Tom Wilde" series set in 1930's England. Whatever the difference in time periods and characters, Clements writes stylish mysteries where the reader can learn a bit along the way, while enjoying the story.
Tom Wilde is an American-born scholar at Cambridge University, specialising in Elizabethan history. The year is 1939 and the whiffs of war are becoming stronger everyday. Tom becomes involved with the Cavendish Institute, where scientists have gathered to work on the perceived possibility of a nuclear bomb. Several foreign - German, Swedish, and others - scientists have emigrated to England to work on the nuclear program. Others are going to the United States. But people in Tom Wilde's world are turning up dead and he steps in to investigate a bit. He had already received a charge directly from Franklin Roosevelt to look around Cambridge. (Tom Wilde travels in exalted circles!). But the problem is that he's not sure who he can trust. No one seems to be who or what they're represented to be to poor Tom, even an escaped German Jewish physicist whose small child has been kidnapped from the Kindertransport. And, even more important to Tom, a sexy actress from Hollywood who's visiting Cambridge and gets involved with Tom.
Okay, what should a reader do if they're confronted with a bunch of lying liars? I suppose do what I did, which was to sit back, suspend a bit of belief, and enjoy the book to the very end. Rory Clements has indicated that "Nucleus" is the second in a series of three. I'm looking forward to the third one!
It’s 1939 and Britain is beset by enemies at home and abroad. In Europe, the Nazis are spreading their malign influence across Europe and gearing up for war. Across the Atlantic there are those who would wield their influence to prevent the United States coming to Britain’s aid in the event of war with Germany. At home, the IRA is waging a surprisingly well-funded bombing campaign in pursuit of their aim of a united Ireland, seeking to terrorise the domestic population of Britain. And then there are those who live their lives in the shadows – can they ever really be trusted?
Add to the equation recent developments in atomic science that open up the possibility of great benefit to mankind but also unimaginable destruction in the wrong hands and one begins to understand how rival powers might be utterly ruthless in their desire to control those who possess the requisite knowledge. Tom Wilde is about to find out just how ruthless. There are people out there who will stop at nothing.
Once again, Tom is called upon to use his deductive powers as a historian to unravel the mystery of a missing child, a murdered scientist and the suspicious reappearance of a childhood friend. But it’s not only brain power that will be needed – better dust off those boxing gloves again, Tom.
It was great to see the return of Lydia, Tom’s friend, neighbour and potentially something more, who makes a plucky and worthy ally. Now don’t tell Lydia, but I confess finding myself slightly beguiled by the mention of Tom Wilde’s ‘bare, tanned chest’ as he practices his sparring and his ‘earthy, manly scent’ in altogether more intimate circumstances. No wonder then that, amongst other dangerous enemies, he finds himself the target of a femme fatale.
The author knows how to write a killer final paragraph of a chapter and the whole things zips along leaving this reader slightly breathless at the end. I dislike the word ‘unputdownable’ and I’ll be honest I did put this book down…but only for the time it took to make a cup of tea and then I was rushing back to pick it up again. With more thrills than a 100mph burn-up on Tom Wilde’s trusty Rudge Special, Rory Clements has produced another cracking historical thriller. If you thought Corpus was brilliant, wait until you read Nucleus. Sign me up for Tom Wilde #3!
Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2018
I kept being surprised. Normally I think of myself as a good guesser but Rory Clements tripped me up again and again.
There wasn't as much science as I anticipated in a novel about physicists in the forefront of nuclear breakthroughs. Set mostly in Cambridge in the tense period before the outbreak of the Second World War this book seethes with political aims and affiliations, strongly held views and people prepared to break laws, to risk their lives and to hurt others in pursuit of their goals.
There are some strong female characters but our viewpoint remains mostly with Wilde, a history professor who is easy to like with his capacity for strong friendships, his concern for the problems of others and his readiness to investigate and leap into action.
I enjoyed reading Nucleus rather more than I expected and was amazed at the amount of thinking, number of characters and quantity of incidents packed into a story which never seemed breathless or hurried.