book cover of On Guard

On Guard

(A book in the Varga Mystery series)
A novel by

The sins of a master fencer have not been forgotten - revenge, jealousy and wanton murders return to haunt him.

Ageing fencing master Jozsef Varga escaped from Budapest, Hungary, during the Revolution of 1956. Years later, female members of his fencing club are found dead, stabbed through with snapped fencing blades. Someone from his past is attempting to destroy his present.

His son, Detective Sergeant Michael Varga, himself a fencer, tries to unravel the mystery, while keeping the hidden jealousy he has for his distant father from emerging.

The mystery leads Michael to Budapest, where he must learn about his father's past from the days of the Revolution and the years that followed in order to make sense of the killer's identity and motivation.

For once, Michael feels he is able to come into his own and out of the shadow of his father's greatness, and finds that the revenge of the past is just as dangerous to his life as to that of his father.

A gripping read, On Guard features the little-known historical context of the Hungarian Revolution along with realistic fencing sequences that will keep the reader enthralled throughout.

Praise for On Guard:

"A complex and gripping tale of revenge." James Becker, bestselling author of The First Apostle and The Lost Testament

"Karl Vadaszffy's second novel, On Guard, has the style and pace of its subject - the cut-throat world of competitive fencing. Vadaszffy is fast becoming a significant, must-read British crime writer." Glenn Cooper, bestselling author of the Library of the Dead trilogy

"On Guard immerses you into the challenges of competitive fencing, with all its rivalries, long-buried bitterness and mistrust. As the body count rises, the pressure mounts for Michael Varga, a man for whom the series of gruesome murders is about to get very personal. Masterful and thrilling, this is a book to devour - I found it impossible to leave alone. I love thrillers that take me into an unfamiliar world and make it real, and On Guard does exactly that." Elizabeth Haynes, bestselling author of Into the Darkest Corner

"Betrayal. Revenge. Revolution. It's an unholy trinity that ricochets between London and Budapest, leading one man on a dangerous quest to untangle the sins of the past in order to stop a madman hell-bent on vengeance in the here and now. A tense and gritty thriller, On Guard skilfully lunges towards its shattering climax. Prepare to be thoroughly engaged." C.M. Palov, author of The Templar's Secret.

"Riveting. A real page-turner. Takes you to the edge and beyond." Damien Lewis, author of Zero Six Bravo

"On Guard is another masterful thriller from Karl Vadaszffy, grounded in the very real history of modern Europe intruding on the present day, dealing variously with old secrets, family dynamics and competitive sport. A solid followup to his excellent The Missing, one of my favorite suspense novels of the last few years." Scott Phillips, author of The Ice Harvest

"A slick, stylish crime novel set in the world of competitive fencing - Karl Vadaszffy knows the world he's writing about - and it shows!!" William Ryan, author of The Holy Thief and The Bloody Meadow

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"From the centre of London to the backstreets of Budapest, this story grabs hold and won't let go." - James Becker

Used availability for Karl Vadaszffy's On Guard

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