Direct Hit


I was uncertain what to expect when I agreed to review “Direct Hit” but what I got was a very readable and enjoyable detective mystery. Set during the London Blitz in the early 1940’s, the style is very reminiscent of detective novels I read years ago. 

The plot is fairly slow-paced but for this book, that is a good thing. I liked the way I felt a part of Jago’s entire process of solving the crime and the methodical way he processed every bit of information. The author’s descriptions of life in London while the population was under constant threat of bombing by the Germans added extra depth to the story. His character development was awesome and I felt like I knew them well by the conclusion of the story. I especially liked the way the detectives carried on with their responsibilities even in the midst of the bombings. Insight into the thoughts of various characters gave me a better idea of the different viewpoints of each one and how their choices were influenced by them. I think I gained a new understanding about how the history of that era evolved.

The story concept is imaginative. I loved the idea of a murder victim whose body was destroyed by a direct bomb hit shortly after discovery by detectives, nevertheless those same detectives were determined to solve the crime. Several twists kept things interesting and a surprise or two were the icing on the cake.

I thoroughly enjoyed “Direct Hit” and hope other mystery fans will check it out. Looking forward to the next installment of Hollow’s The Blitz Detective series.

This book was provided for review by Kregel Publications.


First in a crime series set in London during the Blitz in 1940-41

The jagged blast of high explosives rips through the evening air. In the sky over East London the searchlights criss-cross in search of the enemy.

On the first night of the Blitz, a corpse is discovered in a van in the back streets of West Ham. Detective Inspector John Jago recognizes the dead man as local Justice of the Peace Charles Villers. But then a German bomb obliterates all evidence.

Villers, not a popular man, was both powerful and feared. As the sirens wail, the detective must start matching motive to opportunity–and it doesn?t help when his boss foists an intrusive American journalist on him.

Jago soon discovers the dead man held many secrets, some reaching back to World War I. A lot of people wished Villers dead–and an air raid is a good time to conceal a murder.


Mike HollowMike Hollow was born in West Ham, on the eastern edge of London, and grew up in Romford, Essex. He studied Russian and French at the University of Cambridge and then worked for the BBC and later Tearfund. In 2002 he went freelance as a copywriter, journalist and editor. He’s a published poet, and nowadays when not writing about the Blitz Detective he makes his living as a translator.