On 19th May, Bantam Press are publishing The Odin Mission, the first of a series of Second World War adventure novels featuring Jack Tanner.  I’ve always loved the Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell and the Hornblower books by C.S. Forrester, and it suddenly struck me a little while ago that a similar hero could easily have a long and distinguished career running through the Second World War.

For more on Jack Tanner and the forthcoming series of books, please see ‘My Books’.

April 1940, and Nazi Germany has invaded neutral Norway.  Fleeing north away from the enemy are three men of His Majesty the King’s Guard – men who have been entrusted by King HÃ¥kon with a vitally important mission: to get Hening Sandvold out of Oslo and away to the safety of the Allies.
Heading south to meet the German advance are the poorly equipped, poorly prepared men of British 148th Brigade.  Among them is Sergeant Jack Tanner, recently returned from the Middle East to join the territorial 3rd Battalion, the King’s Own Yorkshire Rangers.  As the British fall back from Lillehammer, Sergeant Tanner and his patrol are left stranded in the mountains.  Trying to rejoin their unit they stumble first across Sandvold and the Norwegians and then a French patrol of Chasseurs Alpins.  

Tanner soon realises the odds of making it to safety are stacked against them.  Trekking through snow-clad mountains and across treacherous valleys with the Germans dogging their every move, Tanner is forced to try and out-fox and out-fight not only their pursuers, but also overcome the enormous obstacles thrown at him from within their disparate group.  And as the Allies prove unable to stem the German advance, it quickly becomes clear that the small band of fugitives face a desperate race against time. 

Yet Tanner knows he must succeed.  For as he discovers, Sandvold holds the key to a vital secret – one that could change the outcome of the entire war…

8 replies
  1. linzid69523
    linzid69523 says:

    i am currently reading this book and it has me absolutely hooked! Would definatly reccomend it to anyone.


    Your character Zellner, you say, has no idea how engines work [see page 219]. Neither you nor your editors either, it would appear. Zellner could get a real education. Check when Morris installed alternators in their trucks. My guess is that they never did. Big chance they had GENERATORS.

    Work harder with your next novel.

  3. jongwinnett
    jongwinnett says:

    Enjoyed it so much when I borrowed it from the library that I ordered a copy on Amazon before I was half way through!

    Thoroughly recommended.


  4. DSV1
    DSV1 says:

    Really enjoyed this first Book, the era has been missing a Hero like Sharpe.

    One thing I noticed is that a Panzer VI is seen in the village , now unless that is a typo it cant be there as Panzer VI ‘s are Tiger 1’s which arent around until 1942. Maybe it should have been a Panzer IV ?.

    Anyway nitpicking aside a great first novel James , Looking forward to more 🙂

  5. Timmer
    Timmer says:

    I thought this book was great and was glad to hear about more books in the pipeline. Ive been reading the commando comics since i was a kid and was glad to find a well written, mature book that still full of excitement and adventure. I cant wiat to find out what Tanner gets up to next. keep up the good work Holland

  6. Phantom GHQ
    Phantom GHQ says:

    I’m dyslexic, I’m 14 I never read, until now, I read Darkest hour on holiday i was amazed it is sooooo good better than any other books I’ve read. got home bought the rest of the book and I’m flying through them AMAZING!!! when is the next one out, these are the only book i will ever enjoy reading, so historic, so much action, so BRILLIANT.

  7. James Holland
    James Holland says:

    Dear William – I am officially your number 1 fan – thank you for such a fantastic message! There’s three out at the moment, the latest being ‘Blood of Honour.’ I’m about to start work on the fourth, which will be set in North Africa in May-June 1942. Then the fifth will be Sept-October 1942 and the Battle of Alamein – and will be a BIG one. I’m also writing a teenage war novel at the moment called ‘Duty Calls 1: Dunkirk.’ It’s due out next June, I think. Cheers, James

  8. Phantom GHQ
    Phantom GHQ says:

    Brilliant can not wait until June and after that. reading ‘blood of honour’ at the moment, the first chapter and second are really hooking I just want to keep reading until I finish. I know that this will be better than the rest already. You keep getting better and better. I’ve always been interested in World War 2 mainly because of my dad. I am keen re-enactor of World War 2. One regiment (PHANTOM GHQ LIAISON REGIMENT) has always been fascinating to me mainly because my great uncle was in it during the second world war. I enjoyed his tales of going behind enemy lines and disrupting German communication lines. perhaps one day I will write a book about it.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.