Hello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Name Beneath the Stone: Secret of the Unknown Warrior by Robert Newcome. Thanks to Aimee at the Bookollective for inviting me on to the blog tour and for my paperback copy of the book. Before I share my review here’s what the book is all about:
“Three generations, one family, connected by an historic secret. 1917 Private Daniel Dawkins fights at Messines Ridge and Passchendaele. He writes home to his true-love Joyce, but reveals little of his extreme bravery, his kindness, his loyalty to his comrades and the horrors they experience on the Western Front. 1920 Captain Peter Harding is tasked with a secret mission to assist in the selection of a body dug up from the battlefields of Flanders to be buried in Westminster Abbey as the ‘Unknown Warrior’. Events take place on that expedition that come to haunt him for the rest of his life. 2011 Sarah Harding discovers Daniel s letters and Peter s diaries. Together with historian James Marchant she pieces together the hidden truth behind the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and must decide what to do with it. Values are challenged and characters are tested in this gripping novel which asks what if the identity of the Unknown Soldier was discovered – and should that secret ever be revealed?”
This was a wonderful historical fiction novel with three timelines, 1917, 1920 and 2011.
The author did a fantastic job taking me to the trenches of Ypres for the 1917 story. I got quite attached to Daniel Dawkins, his comrades and Murphy the dog, getting quite emotional in places as I read about their time on the Western Front. The author’s description of the landscape was so vivid making me feel like I was with the men, especially in the latter part of the book when they were taking part in the Battle of Passchendaele.
The 1920 story with Peter Harding and his involvement in the burial of the Unknown Warrior was fascinating. Of course I’ve heard the name ‘The Unknown Warrior’, but didn’t know how it came about. I learnt so much about how the mission was accomplished and how it affected the mood of the nation. I would love to visit next time I’m in London.
I thoroughly enjoyed the 2011 storyline too with Peter Harding’s granddaughter uncovering family secrets with the help of a James Marchant, a historian. I enjoyed reading about how they went about researching her family history and how their friendship blossomed.
I highly recommend this one to lovers of historical fiction.
About The Author
After five years serving as an officer in The Light Infantry, Robert studied Political Philosophy at Exeter University. Following this he had various management positions in the John Lewis Partnership, finally running management training. He then spent a number of years working for management consultants before setting up his own business with a colleague in 2007. Throughout this period he was writing articles, short stories and novels in his spare time.
You can follow Robert on Twitter @NewcomeRobert.