It is early 1942 and South-East Asia is in flames. The Japanese forces storm south through Malaya, Singapore is lost and the battle for the Dutch East Indies begins in earnest. With the Japanese already at the gates of Java, the Dutch government discovers a load of gold left behind in a bank. In a desperate effort to save it from falling into Japanese hands, a damaged airliner is hurriedly repaired and a scratch crew is assembled to fly the gold to safety in Australia. However, a malignant fate interferes. Their airplane malfunctions in a remote spot and several crew members are killed by a band of local insurgents. The survivors unload the treasure and barely manage to escape. Reaching friendly territory, they find they are posted AWOL and wanted for theft of an airplane and the cargo of gold. The survivors struggle through the rest of the war in a series of harrowing adventures. They try to settle in civilian life after the war ends but the hidden gold put its spell on them. And when they try to retrieve the “lost” gold they find the jinx is still there as misfortune, violence and death follow in their wake as their bloody treasure hunt takes them back to the Dutch East Indies, a restive place despite the war’s end. As the story continues, their quest takes them across continents, spanning India, Australia, Europe and North Africa.
Their exciting exploits and sizzling romances are juxtaposed with historical developments of places scarred by war and colonialism, the racism of corrupt societies and the emerging threat of terrorism. The tale is replete with danger and treachery as the pursuit of “The Java Gold” shows the treasure hunters that the price of greed is human life.
This book marks the beginning of a series of books following the treasure-hunters. Kingsley blends kinetic action with meticulously researched factual details, infusing the work with his own passion for aviation and the Second World War, giving readers an exhilarating literary experience that’s part historical fact, part pulp fiction and all adventure.