The Tenerife Alternative by Cranley Harding

Nazi SS troops, British Secret Intelligence Service and Canarian Independence activists were in a fight to the death over a legendary underwater cave on the north coast of Tenerife in 1935. A few years ago this plot would have been dismissed as far fetched but recently released CIA files have shown that many factions had identified Tenerife as an alternative naval base and international gateway if General Franco allowed Germany free passage to prise Gibraltar out of British hands.

This is the ingenious premise for the fictional novel The Tenerife Alternative by Cranley Harding. Suave British spy Scott Rutherford doesn´t need the gadgets of his more famous big screen counterpart, he´s politically astute, makes the most of his allies, and ruthlessly disposes of his enemies. He´s very much a rough and ready hands on sort of spy, a grammar school boy who has fought his way through the ranks. Author Cranley Harding told me he sees our man more in the mould of Harry Palmer, the Len Deighton spy played in The Ipcress File by Michael Caine.
Cranley, from Glasgow, a 30 year visitor to Tenerife has added a passion for the history and culture of Tenerife and has added extensive research to make the backdrop to the thriller authentic. The action moves at a brisk pace but allows plenty of time to draw the historical and political map for the story to unfold. Of course there are many fictitious strands weaved in such as the much sought after lava cave at Punta Guanche, but the fledgling tourist resort of Puerto de la Cruz, Los Gigantes, Los Rodeos airport, and Mount Teide all make familiar reference points. Cranley also draws on his knowledge of island history like Nelson´s aborted invasion, the Chinyero eruption, and Guanche folklore to reinforce the characters motives and actions.

There´s plenty of intrigue, double crosses, and romantic interest for out hero to deal with as the plot races to the final show down. Scott Rutherford is only at the begining of his double life as an overseas trade attache and spy, maybe he will be lured back to Tenerife. In the meantime, his first adventure awaits you at The Bookshop in Puerto Colon, The Bookshop in Los Cristianos, and The Devon Arms, Los Cristianos. If you can´t get hold of a copy, contact Cranley at

Ronald Mackay
January 5th, 2018 6:33 pm

Thanks for the summary and the review. As someone who loves Tenerife, I will read it with great interest.

Ronald Mackay
January 8th, 2018 8:57 am

I read and enjoyed Cranley Harding’s The Tenerife Alternative. I will review it on Goodreads.
Might you be interested in reviewing my recent book: Fortunate Isle, a memoir of Tenerife.
It covers 1960-61 when I worked in and around Buenavista del Norte as an 18-year-old and includes more than 50 photographs I took at the time.
I can arrange for review a copy to be sent to you.