Balls of Leather and Steel

The trilogy begins !

Since the day he was born, Malcolm McClain led a charmed life. By his mid-twenties he was a household name throughout Europe, recognized as one of the finest professional soccer players in the world. Then he’s shot down over Yugoslavia and captured by the Nazis.

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A Gordian Web

The Second Book in The Spider Trilogy

When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, the Nazi regime tossed dissidents into labor camps to break the will of the people. Every day Czeslaw Orlowski, an orphaned teenager, fought for his life in the camps then escaped to become a thorn in the side of the oppressors…

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The Final Fandango

Book Three of The Spider Trilogy

Book three of the trilogy, The Final Fandango, will take Chez into a new landscape years after WWII, where the hunt for former Nazis continues.

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Guy Butler’s Novels of Courage and Daring Span the Nazis’ Third—and Fourth—Reichs!

A Gordian Web by Guy Butler is the second book in the Spider trilogy, but it does quite nicely as a standalone story. Readers will be delighted by this tale that takes them on a journey filled with history, adventure, and characters who spring to life very quickly as they’re introduced. This is an intelligently written book but isn’t complicated as each scene unfolds and leads to more questions that must be answered, making it a page-turner. The pacing is spot on, and the dialogue comes across natural for each character. I found myself caring about the people in the story as they faced the fictional scenarios that Butler skillfully crafted from real history. 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Judge’s Commentary

★★★★★ for Balls of Leather and Steel
Kept me glued, page after page
I am a fool for war novels. This is one of the best I have read in a long time. The characters are vividly portrayed, the action is compelling and the story line is very different. I think it could make a great movie. Brad P. & George C. would make a great one, two punch.

★★★★★ for A Gordian Web
Guy Butler is a Consummate Storyteller!
Guy Butler is a consummate storyteller. His knowledge of the time period and his research into the details pleased my historic and adventurous heart. A Gordian Web is a wonderful, roller coaster of a read!

Author-GuyButlerMy career as an architect has taken me to over forty countries, but it was family history that inspired me to write the first book in the Spider Trilogy, Balls of Leather and Steel.   I grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. My father Malcolm had an amazing career in England as a professional soccer player. During World War II, Malcolm signed up for the Royal Air Force and in 1943, he was shot down over Yugoslavia and captured by the Nazis, who wanted to use him in propaganda to demoralize the British public. The local Partizani resistance broke into the POW camp and spirited my father out, but no one else. This launched a fevered hunt with my Dad as the prize pawn. I wanted to write an historical thriller based on Malcolm, but needed a character to play off his wealthy, cosseted background. My father-in-law Chester was born in Germany. He was orphaned and left in the custody of his Polish stepmother just before the war. She also had a son, and to protect him, she swapped the boys’ birth certificates. The Nazis believed Chez was the Polish child and threw him into their labor camps, from which he escaped. He was perfect for the role. In Balls, I had Chez, a Polish resistance fighter known as the Spider, lead the raid that rescued Malcolm from the POW camp. Numerous friends who read the first draft were intrigued by the Spider, so I left a few unanswered questions at the end of Balls of Leather and Steel. This let me launch directly into the second book, A Gordian Web, in which the Spider is the central character. The last book of the trilogy, The Final Fandango, is now completed and ties up all the loose ends. The three books total almost a thousand pages and took four years to write. At the outset I could never have dreamed of the immense satisfaction this venture has given me.

The Scrapbook

Sam was born in 1919, making him six years younger than my father Malcolm. Not a bad soccer player in his own right but nothing compared to his older brother.

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When an anniversary or birthday comes along, I get several cards from my wife. Several. All of these have to be dutifully read and the message acknowledged with a hug and a kiss. There is no short-changing this ritual; if I do not spend the pre-determined length of time reading the message, there is a sharp rebuke. “Read it.”

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