At home, Harry had an early dinner with his father and mother, who were going to the theatre. They lived in a comfortable house, which Mr. Fleming had taken on a five-year lease when they came to England to live. It was one of a row of houses that looked very much alike, which, itself, was one of four sides of a square. In the centre of the square was a park-like space, a garden, really. In this garden were several tennis courts, with plenty of space, also, for nurses and children. There are many such squares in London, and they help to make the British capital a delightful place in which to live.
As he went in, Harry saw a lot of the younger men who lived in the square playing tennis. It was still broad daylight, although, at home, dusk would have fallen. But this was England at the end of July and the beginning of August, and the light of day would hold until ten o'clock or thereabout. That was one of the th
The book gets off to a very slow start with far too much exposition.
Once we get the boys through the initial chapter, the action picks up quite a bit, providing plenty of thrillingly unreaslistic plot twists and nail biting escapes.
The book is largely a "Nancy Drew" style adventure, but with an interesting twist. It is set in Britain at the outset of WW1, and has many striking details of that time which must have been drawn from first hand observation.
Durston is keenly sensitive to war's moral ironies, and often places his rather nuanced adult views in the thoughts of his young heroes. Although this is unrealistic, it lends the book a kind of gravity that a typical yarn of youthful pluck and courage lacks.
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