The White Guns
by Douglas Reeman
The author was my soulmate for more than 30 years, and this is one of his most autobiographical novels, set in immediate post-war Germany. Unflinching and compassionate, like the man who wrote it.
The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop
by Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop
The detailed, harrowing, heartbreaking diaries of the great Australian surgeon, kept secretly during his time as a prisoner of the Japanese from 1942 to 1945. Surely one of the greatest testaments to man’s love for his fellow man. Even, or perhaps especially, in the midst of hell.
The Persian Boy
by Mary Renault
Written in the first person by the young Persian eunuch Bagoas, lover of Alexander the Great. Hauntingly beautiful.
Gone with the Wind
by Margaret Mitchell
Yes, it’s Scarlett and Rhett and “fiddle-dee-dee”, and politically incorrect by today’s standards. It’s also the grandmother of all American war epics, and Mitchell wrote with a journalist’s eye for detail, and as a child had heard the stories told by Confederate veterans. Unforgettable.
The Lymond Chronicles
by Dorothy Dunnett
From the swash, buckle and sparkling wit of The Game Of Kings, the first in this incomparable series featuring the mercurial Francis Crawford of Lymond, through the darkness of subsequent volumes to the soul-searing climax of Checkmate, this is a tangled web of intrigue, adventure and difficult, fractious, inexpressible love. Utterly breathtaking.
Coronach by Kimberley Jordan Reeman is out now (Matador, £13.99)