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Books Editorial

blitzbook.jpg Blitz PAMS

John Orton, UK Book Publishing

“Aboot ten minutes later we heard the sound of an enemy plane, as though it was overheed, and then there was a loud crash.” When it comes to air-bombings over the UK during the Second World War, we invariably think of The Blitz in London, or maybe the assault on Coventry. But the north-east was also subject to bombing raids too, as a picture of South Shields market (included in this novel) makes clear. It shows wrecked buses and a lorry in the very centre of South Shields, which is strewn with masonry and rubble. The tale is told through the singular voice of Mossie, a grocery delivery boy, who volunteers to become a Police Auxiliary Messenger (ie a PAM of the book’s title: the PAMs needed to be ready to relay messages via bike if phone lines went down during a raid). This is an incredibly evocative story – told over an eighteen month period - in which the author weaves real-life figures with fictional characters to really bring to life those treacherous times of sandbags and blackouts.