With a big brother like Peter Fleming it’s no wonder Ian – creator of the world’s most-loved secret agent ‘James Bond’ – wasn’t short of ideas.
Gathering intelligence; staging car crashes; planting misleading documents to foil enemies and embarking on daring adventures across the world was not a work of fiction for Peter – and now Linda Parker brings his incredible exploits to life in her dazzlingly entertaining book ‘Ice, Steel and Fire. British Explorers in Peace and War 1921-45’.
Published by Helion & Company – one of the world’s leading publishers of military history – ‘Ice, Steel and Fire’ is described by its author as a book about ‘boys going on adventures’ – and we learn that young Ian shared his brother’s appetite for action and excitement while proudly serving their country.
“Ian Fleming may be more famous, but it’s his brother Peter, who also stars in my book, that’s the more interesting character,” says Linda.
Linda explains that Peter was a ‘Spectator’ journalist who wanted to write adventure books while living the adventurer’s lifestyle. He travelled to Brazil and on to the Far East and India via Turkistan – taking the infamous northern routes through the deserts.
In the Second World War he was the first man to be sent into Norway to find out if the Nazis were there and later he specialised in deception in the Far East where he would do daring things such as stage a car crash and plant misleading documents in the wreckage for the Germans to find.
“Peter’s life was every bit as exciting as the ‘Bond’ series his brother Ian – who was the main man behind the creation of 30 Commando – would go on to write,” adds Linda.
“I think people are going to be surprised by the brothers’ exploits – as well as those of the lesser-known polar explorers featured.”
‘Ice, Steel and Fire’ – Linda’s second title with Helion & Company – deals in subject matter that has fascinated her for more than 20 years.
Readers learn that the explorers’ expertise in Arctic conditions and small boat handling resulted in their participation in all aspects of warfare and battle – particularly as exponents of ‘special operations’ and as key members of Britain’s first special forces.
Their war service took them from the fjords of Norway and Spitsbergen to the jungles of Burma and Malaya and on to the beaches of Normandy and Italy. They were also involved in blockade running and covert operations in Yugoslavia, Corsica and France.
“I have been interested in Arctic exploration for a long time, but what really fascinated me was that some of the lesser-known explorers of the 1920s and 1930s went on to do a lot of very exciting things during the Second World War,” explains Linda.
“It fascinated me that a small group of men – including polar explorer Quintin Riley – all knew each other from various far-flung expeditions they’d been on. They were able to pull strings that meant they got to work on the same assignments during the Second World War – using all those skills they’d developed as explorers to distinguish themselves in that conflict.
‘I knew their exploits would make a good book and thankfully Duncan Rogers at Helion & Company agreed.”
Advance orders for ‘Ice, Steel and Fire. British Explorers in Peace and War 1921 – 45’ – priced at £25 – can be placed at http://www.helion.co.uk//ice-steel-and-fire-british-explorers-in-peace-and-war-1921-45.html
The book will be officially launched on 5 June 2013 at 6pm at the London Club of Rifles (52-56 Davies Street, London W1K 5HR). Dress code is jacket and tie. Please RSVP to Duncan Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org / tel. 0121 705 3393.
Click here to listen to an audio interview with Linda Parker, courtesy of @audioboo
For interview enquiries and requests for review copies please contact Duncan Rogers at email@example.com / tel. 0121 705 3393.