Heroes in the Evening Mist is the previously unpublished novel by the Texas-born author William Ash. His repeated attempts to escape German prisoner-of-war camps made him one of the models for the character played by Steve McQueen in the film The Great Escape. This, his final novel, evokes heroism, romance, comradeship – and ultimately betrayal.
War correspondent Colin Frere is on assignment in Malia, a Southeast Asian state consumed by civil conflict and revolution. He is abducted by the Communist guerrillas – actually by prearrangement. His mission is to understand the rebels and their charismatic leader – not least because his own elder brother once fought alongside them. But he soon finds that idealism trumps journalistic detachment and he becomes an active soldier in the revolutionary cause. His journey and that of his adopted country involves heroism, romance, comradeship – and ultimately betrayal.
Heroes in the Evening Mist was the last novel by the prolific author William Ash, who died in 2014, and it has hitherto been unpublished. Ash was born in Texas but fought as a Spitfire pilot in the Second World War before spending three years in a German prisoner-of-war camp. His repeated attempts to escape made him one of the models for the character played by Steve McQueen in the film The Great Escape and were chronicled in his best-selling memoir Under the Wire. He was a lifelong socialist and his final work shows a rare sympathetic engagement not only with the cause of post-colonial liberation but also with the problems faced by revolutionary governments once they have won power.