Commander Amanda Nightingale
The blurbs on the backs:
Commander Amanda Nightingale
'Vintage stuff ... Candy never had it so good.' Washington Post
The only girl in the history of English politics to get raped, tortured, branded, strung up, carved up, and elected to the House of Commons with a considerable majority.
France falls to the awesome crunch of the Nazi jackboot - the prey of Germans, crooks, collaborators and traitors. From out of this terrible twilight emerges Amanda Nightingale, the indomitable British blonde who despite, or perhaps because of, her experiences with a trio of German sex fiends in Commander Amanda Nightingale is relishing the thought of getting back into the fight...
If you hear the rumour that Amanda won the war single-handed, over a hotbed of rape, bloodshed and torture, don't discount it - read on, it goes something like this:
’A feminine figure emerged behind the S.S. officer, but such a figure as could never have been seen on a field of battle since the campaigns of Queen Boadicea or the rape of the Sabine women. She looked like she might be very pretty under the thick layers of dirt, but the most alarming thing about her was that she was all but naked...’
Hello again; Amanda. Nice to have you back again, from the jaws of death and the thigh-grip of your oppressors. To love someone means, in the final analysis, death to all the others!
This is actually pretty nasty stuff. Amanda Nightingale is a FANY officer during the Second World War, who gets drafted in as an Intelligence Officer in early-1944. Her mission is to be dropped in occupied France in order to link up with a Resistance leader and ...
But that's not important. Trust me: no one read these books for the story. The only relevant thing that you need to know is that Nightingale falls into the hands of a trio of sadistic German soldiers, two men and a woman. I'm using the term 'sadistic' quite correctly here - these people aren't in the Gestapo, they're just serving personnel who fancy a bit of fun with an attractive young woman. Who - of course - loves it.
So, a straightforward sex 'n' sadism story then. And one that can get pretty unpleasant, as in this description of a favoured SS interrogation technique: 'Passer à la mandoline means to pass a mandolin wire between your thighs and lift you up on it... It goes through your parts like the wire of an épicier going through cheese.'
In effect this is taking up the masochism that lies at the heart of all James Bond novels, magnifying it and putting a woman in the central role. Okay if you like that sort of thing, though I'd have thought that for a thrill-seeker the story would get in the way of the sex a bit too much, whilst the torture would be too intrusive if you wanted an action story. Still, wasn't really aimed at me, I guess.
The second and third novels in the series, Resort To War and Amanda's Castle, carry on in the same vein: third-rate war stories interspersed with occasional gang-rapes, whippings and so on. There were two further volumes published by Mayflower: Amanda in Spain (1976) and Amanda in Berlin (1978), though I haven't got copies of them.
My thanks to a couple of correspondents, Mr Mike Harwood and Ms Camilla Rockwood, who have filled in some further details about these books. I hadn't heard of the last two mentioned books, which are apparently set post-War, and I didn't know the real identity of George Revelli.
Turns out he was actually Geoffrey Bocca (1923-83), who wrote some royal books in the 1950s (The Uneasy Heads and a biography of the Duchess of Windsor, She Might Have Been Queen) before moving on to the likes of Bikini Beach: The Wicked Riviera As It Was And Is (1963) and co-authoring Appointment in Dallas: The Final Solution to the Assassination of JFK with Hugh C McDonald. After the Amanda Nightingale books, he produced a trilogy of novels Nadine (1976), Giselle (1978) and Marpessa (1979), that were apparently in equally dubious taste: I don't know 'cos I haven't read 'em yet.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT: 3/5