Mike Scantlebury Fears For a Third World War in Salford World War
Mike Scantlebury’s new novel is a creative replay of the throes of the First World War. Melia has the duty to keep a visiting Chinese government functionary safe in Salford. But will she be up to this intimidating task? That’s the central question that this thrilling action novel responds to at the end of this tale of intrigues and high-stakes politics. Mike Scantlebury makes the safety of Mr Ho the burden of Melia and it is this plot line that propels the story forward and keeps the reader turning pages for more.
The author is antiwar in this fictional story. His hero must prevent a disaster from taking place. Acutely aware that the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Serbia triggered the First World War in 1914, the novel’s hero must prevent another cataclysmic event from happening as the Chinese Minister of Trade and investment comes visiting in Salford. This is a daunting assignment for any security operative. Captain Gibson, a top security chief in the British Secret Service asks his top agent a chilling question at the beginning of the story.
“Melia,” he said quietly, “have you any idea how the First World War began?” This only serves to reinforce the enormity of the duty ahead. But Melia is calm enough to offer a response which indicates her precise sense of world history and politics. Having passed the first test, Captain Gibson is certain that his trusted hand will not disappoint. But things often go wrong in the world of secret service and espionage. Every secret service agent knows the risks of the job. No one can predict what will appear behind the rope line even with the best detection devices available in the world of surveillance. Presidents have been assassinated before, why would Melia feel the Chinese visitor to Britain is insulated from attacks? Thankfully, she doesn’t think so. In terms of narrative universe, Mike Scantlebury’s novel shares landmarks with The Camel Club by David Baldacci. In the Camel Club, Secret Service agent Alex Ford must prevent the assassination of President James Brennan when he goes visiting a town that will be named after him in Pennsylvania, just as Melia must ensure the safety of the Chinese man against the backdrop of a heavy Chinese presence in Manchester. Failure to do so might mean the end of peace in the world as she knows it.
Recent history and global personalities drive this story forward. For instance; Mike Scantlebury references known royal figures and sporting events in this fiction. He mentions the London 2012 Olympics, Tibet, Tiananmen Square and Prince William. This technique redirects readers to events outside the novel’s narrative world, allowing us to see that this is a book inspired by history but delivered through fiction and skillful imagination. The author constantly pulls us to a world outside of the novel. This is a subtle reminder that we must not allow a repeat of a global carnage in this battered humanity that must be salvaged from evil influences.
What the author has done in this novel is to use social and political history as a durable and working canvass to weave a frightening tale with real world implications. It is a book that should be read by all students of politics and global affairs, just as it is a class on how to draw sensibly from factual events as writers seek to entertain and educate readers of thrilling novels.
One would better appreciate how Melia responds to her task of keeping Mr. Ho alive at all cost by taking a dive into the pages of this exciting novel, where we find Melia needing help when her life is threatened. Her rescuing angel ends up being a dying bodyguard. It is through an immersive experience that one would better appreciate the literary achievements of Mike Scantlebury in this fictional work that bristles with preachments for peace. Salford World War is available at Amazon and where good books are sold.