Title: The Hoard
Author: Neil Grimmett
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
About the Book
The Hoard is a thriller set in the secretive, dangerous world of a Royal Ordnance Factory; a vast, surreal place full of some of the most volatile elements on the planet.
Thirty years before the main story, the nitration house at the ROF in Bridgwater exploded in a fireball that could be seen for miles around. The entire crew was killed, and the source of the explosion was never found; authorities claimed that the charge in the nitrator had gone critical and that the chargehand was unable to stop a lethal cook-off. But Gunner Wade, the man the nitration crew sent for help that day knows differently: they were murdered; and he was branded a coward.
Now Byron, the son of one of the victims, enters the sprawling Gormenghast-like compound of the top secret factory to discover the truth about his father’s death. But what he finds in the dark heart of this world is a hidden hoard of super-high explosives; illegally produced and drenched in the blood of those killed to conceal its existence. As the threat of discovery mounts, Byron finds himself at the centre of a struggle between good and evil; both to prevent a destructive force from being unleashed again and to bring the sadistic mass murderers who killed his father to justice. He is aided by an unlikely alliance of helpers, including the beautiful widow of a murdered chemist and Gunner Wade. Against them are the original perpetrators and their new legion of evil acolytes.
Inspired by a massive explosion that killed six men at the real-world ROF Bridgwater facility in 1951 – no cause was ever found – The Hoard is a gripping, grim novel that offers a glimpse into a self-contained apocalyptic landscape scarred both by the birthing of the materiel that fuels war, and the hearts of evil men who would do anything for greed.
I received a free ecopy of this book from the author for an honest review.
I had read The Threshing Circle by Neil Grimmett and I liked it so I was looking forward to reading this book. It is fiction based on an actual unexplained explosion at an ordinance factory in 1951 and is full of mystery, suspense and surprises.
Neil Grimmett’s writing flows well and is easy to follow. It did get a little more detailed than I prefer about the explosives factory at times, but that is a personal preference.
The characters are unique and interesting. Byron is the son of one of the men killed in the explosion years ago and he goes to work undercover at the factory to see if he can find out exactly what happened to his father. He finds an unlikely ally, a widow whose husband was recently murdered. He also meets many employees who worked at the facility when the explosion occurred but he doesn’t know who he can trust, if anyone.
I enjoyed The Hoard with all of its mystery, twists and suspense. And it had a great ending.
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About the Author
Neil Grimmett has had over eighty five short stories published. In the UK by among others: London Magazine, Stand, Panurge, Iron, Ambit, Postscripts Magazine, Pretext etc. Australia, Quadrant, South Africa, New Contrast. Plus stories in the leading journals of Singapore, India, France, Canada, and the USA, where he has appeared in Fiction, The Yale Review, DoubleTake, The southern Humanities Review, Green Mountains Review, Descant, The Southern Review, West Branch and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. He has appeared online in Blackbird, Plum Ruby Review, Tatlin’s Tower, Web Del Sol, In Posse Review, m.a.g., Word Riot, Blue Moon Review, 3AM, Gangway, Eclectica, The Cortland Review, Segue, The Dublin Quarterly , Ducts, Sugar Mule, Mysterical E, Thuglit and over thirty others. His stories have also appeared in the anthologies: ENGLAND CALLING, BOOK OF VOICES and Italy’s ISBN’s Top International Stories. He has made the storySouth Million Writers Notable Short Story list for the last three years. In addition, he has won the Write On poetry award, 7 Oppenheim John Downes Awards, 5 major British Arts Council Awards, a Royal Society of Authors award and was just awarded a major grant from the Royal Literary Fund. He has been signed over the last ten years by twelve of the leading literary agents in both the UK and USA.