Ken Lussey joins the bastion of writers and artists drawing on the Second World War for inspiration. The extremely enjoyable Eyes Turned Skywards takes a real event from August 1942 and runs with it – the mysterious death of the King’s brother, the Duke of Kent, in northern Scotland. While en route to Iceland, the plane carrying the Duke and his entourage took a detour inland, for still unexplained reasons, crashing in high ground on a Caithness hillside. But why?

Enter Wing Commander Robert ‘Bob’ Sutherland, a former Glasgow detective-turned-pilot, who’s tasked with the job of investigating what happened. Joined by M15 agent Monique Dubois, Sutherland works to unravel the truth. The events, for the most part, take place over one week and are set against the background of the war and a much divided country.

The plot is tight and thrilling enough to retain our attention to the end, the detail creating an authentic Britain at war. More to the point, Scotland, and the author’s love for it, shines through and perhaps that’s not that surprising given Lussey is the co-founder of Undiscovered Scotland.

I have to say, on a personal note, I love books like this – books and stories that feed my absolute love for history and also that take me back to authors I consumed growing up. In this case, it’s the much underrated Scottish novelist Alistair MacLean, whose very fine, action-packed tomes I used to raid from my dad’s bookshelves, while my brother stole Wilbur Smith (no comparison). I think that’s the best compliment I can give to Ken Lussey and Eyes Turned Skywards. So, please read it. It’s great.

Now, where are those MacLeans …


Eyes Turned Skywards| Ken Lussey | Fledgling Press | 31 May 2018 | paperback | £9.99


Acknowledgements: This review is published as part of the Eyes Turned Skywards virtual book tour. Many thanks to Kelly Lacey at Love Books Group for organising it and to the publisher for supplying a review copy. Photography © The Literary Shed 2018. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved.


Also of interest:Soundings – in search of one father’s war’ (art review); ‘Mary Monro’s Stranger in My Heart‘; ‘Only Remembered edited by Michael Morpurgo’; ‘Lisa Ko’s The Leavers: Dialogue’s brilliant debut’; ‘20 books this summer challenge‘; ‘Johana Gustawsson’s Keeper –indie publisher, Orenda, does it again‘; ‘We should all be feminists’; ‘Jane Harper’s stylish debut – The Dry’; ‘Force of Nature – aka Where’s Alice Russell?’; How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original Penguin Ten’; ‘Book covers we love – Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday’.


This review is © 2018 by The Literary Shed. All rights reserved. All opinions are our own. We welcome your feedback and comments. If you wish to reproduce this piece, please do contact us to request permission. Thank you so much.