Saturday, 4 May 2013


     A couple of days ago I typed the most beautiful words in the English language:  The End.

     It's always a relief to finish a book but this one - the tenth novel in the Simon Fonthill series and the thirteenth of mine in all - had a kind of modern resonance.  As I finished it, signing off after Simon had fought with the Gordon Highlanders in the great Pathan Revolt in the North West Frontier of India in 1897, I heard on the radio that three Scottish soldiers had been killed by the Teleban in Afghanistan.

     My book - BAYONETS ACROSS THE BORDER, due out next year - has the British fighting against Muslim fundamentalists, stirred up by Afghan preachers.  The events in Helmund Province and, indeed, the assassination of a Pakistani candidate in the elections there, virtually at the same time, were caused by the same breed of religious fanatics in roughly the same place.

     Can any other war have lasted for 116 years, albeit intermittently, fighting over the same ground?

     Talk about the Wheel of Life!  Makes you weep, doesn't it?


  1. I've just finished "Fire Across the Velt" and did wonder where Fonthill and 353 were off to next. Thanks for putting me out of my misery, the fact there will be another book in the series is REALLY something I look forward to. I will leave my review on Amazon re "Fire". Thanks again for a splendid series.

  2. Im sure I will get round to reading this soon, Just discovered this series and as a fan of Forrester and O'brein im allready hooked.

    Prehaps in a couple of books time we will see Fonthill at the seige of Mafeking! I'm Fairly sure that BP would be one millitary officer that he would get on with very well!

  3. I just finished Bayonets Along the Border - it's been a year or so since I read the last few Fonthill books and this was another amazing, can't put down read!

    I did have one comment/question - there is a reference to the Khyber offering the easiest way into the subcontinent since Alexander of Macedon had approached it some fifteen hundred years before...the count seems to be off? Alexander was 334BC - Simon is set in 1897 - that would make it 2200+ years before? Am I misinterpreting the reference somehow?

    Thanks - of course this in no way detracts from the book itself, if anything it only makes the Khyber a more mystical place!