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  • Published: 4 May 2021
  • ISBN: 9781787302624
  • Imprint: Harvill Secker
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $32.99

Two Storm Wood

The must-read BBC Between the Covers Book Club Pick

A compelling, high-quality historical thriller that reveals a part of WW1 history that is little known about.

An extraordinarily atmospheric and page-turning historical thriller.

In 1919, on the desolate battlefields of northern France, thousands of soldiers undertook the immense and dangerous task of gathering up the dead for mass burial.

Two Storm Wood follows the stories of three British people whose lives have been affected by war in very different ways: a young woman who boldly sets out to find out what happened to her fiancé, who went missing in action; a soldier tasked with co-ordinating the retrieval of the dead; and a detective sent to investigate what appears to be a series of murders in the empty, devastated landscape.

Unmissable high-quality historical fiction of the best kind.

  • Published: 4 May 2021
  • ISBN: 9781787302624
  • Imprint: Harvill Secker
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $32.99

About the author

Philip Gray

Philip Gray was inspired to write TWO STORM WOOD by his grandfather who fought in the First World War.

Also by Philip Gray

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Praise for Two Storm Wood

One of the most evocative thrillers I've ever read. The writing is superb - shades of Hollinghurst and Pat Barker combine in a taut, finely plotted mystery. The battlefield is almost a character in itself, and the presence of its dead disturbed me throughout. Be warned - this dark, intelligent story is very hard to put down. Haunting, cinematic, and utterly gripping.

D.B. John, author of Star of the North

Atmospheric and meticulously researched, Two Storm Wood sheds light on the horrors and the trauma that continued even after the Armistice. It is that most wonderful of creations - a novel that informs while keeping you on the edge of your seat.

Abir Mukherjee, author of The Shadows of Men

An intelligent, chilling murder mystery set among the wastelands of a war-ravaged France. Deftly plotted, and also a brilliant character piece, teeming with ideas about devotion, radicalism, identity, race, and the ethics of battlefields. Mightily rewarding.

Dominic Nolan, author of After Dark

Two Storm Wood is an enthralling, enchanting, but at times also quite terrifying literary thriller. The world has been waiting for a worthy successor to Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong - now Philip Gray has delivered it. This novel really is that good. The desolate, nightmarish atmosphere of the WW1 battlefields of northern France and the aftermath of more than four years of senseless slaughter is expertly portrayed in what is both a very moving love story and fascinating mystery. A novel that demands to be read and will stay long in the reader's memory after the last page is turned. The best book I've read this year and surely a contender for literary awards.

David Young, author of Stasi Child

I couldn't put this down. A thriller and romance set amidst the post-Armistice battlefields and the damaged people trying to do right by the dead. Extraordinary setting, great characters, bursting with ideas.

Dominick Donald, author of Breathe

Two Storm Wood has the literary class, intellectual depth, and thriller pacing of Robert Harris at his best--with an added spine-tingling aura of menace worthy of Stephen King. It's the most chilling portrayal of a historical period since Philip Kerr's novels of Nazi Berlin, yet at its core Gray's masterpiece is a heart-rending story of sacrifice, love and loyalty overcoming the psychological tortures of the World War I battlefields.

Matt Rees, author of Mozart's Last Aria

Two Storm Wood is an impressive achievement. It sheds a powerful light on a neglected aspect of World War One history. I can't recommend it enough.

Alan Parks, author of Bloody January

Powerful historical fiction and a testament to war's insanity

Kirkus Review, US

In this poignant, intricately plotted novel, Gray succeeds in entwining two powerful tales - a love story and a hate story - in a way that, right from the shocking start, is both convincing and enthralling. He's not afraid to show the devastation of war and the unavoidability of brutality, on both an individual and a collective scale.

Virginia Baily, author of SUNDAY TIMES bestseller EARLY ONE MORNING

Although the novel is deftly plotted and the atmosphere all distorting fog and claustrophobic dugouts, its achievement lies in Gray's finely worked portraits of the pity of war - those damaged by conflict and those who have to deal with its mind-altering consequences.

The Times

Through a clever series of plot twists...Gray leads...his readers to the unexpected truth

Nick Rennison, Sunday Times

A beautifully written thriller

James Moran, Tablet


RAF News

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