Max Edwards was eighteen when he saw the woman he loved and the man he wanted to kill.

Those words open the new novel from critically acclaimed author Geoff Hill: the gripping, dramatic and uplifting story of Max, the self-educated son of the butler at a grand estate in rural Ireland who, weeks before the First World War, falls in love with the Japanese bride of the Major who owns the estate.

Max's impossible dream is soon torn to shreds by the horror of the Battle of the Somme. After those terrible days, a chance meeting with RFC commander Hugh "Boom" Trenchard in the hospital leads to his transfer to the Royal Flying Corps. He finds his place in the air over the war torn battlefields as a pilot in the RFC. Amid the constant danger of falling to death in flames or being ripped apart by the Germans' Spandau machine guns, he tussles with legends like Baron von Richthofen - and forms the strangest of alliances with German ace Werner Voss.

Stand by for a rollercoaster ride, with love, disaster, action, humor, death in the air, spies, a beautiful French nurse and Max's best friend, Bentley Priory, who's as devoted to his conquests in the bedroom as to those in the air.

You'll laugh, cry and eventually applaud the unquenchable nature of the human spirit as Max's transition from boy to man is forged in the searing crucible of war.

Praise for Hill's previous books:

The funniest travel writer in print. - Tom Adair, The Scotsman

A rollicking good read, full of laugh-out-loud anecdotes and witty one-liners. - Fergal Hallahan, Irish News

Quietly hilarious. An offbeat and imaginative debut. - Lois Rathbone, The Times

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