The second paragraph from Chapter 3:
( Collapse )As this paragraph makes clear, this is rather an impressive version of the "Hitler Wins" sub-sub-genre of stories: quite a well-imagined defeated England in 1952, with Lord Beaverbrook leading a collaborationist government with Enoch Powell and Oswald Mosley, Adlai Stevenson about to take over from the two-term Taft jr across the water, and Hitler on his deathbed. The actual plot concerns some resistance fighters and other activists (led the elderly Churchill in hiding and uncomfortably allied with the Communists) who get caught up in the struggle to prevent a nuclear weapons secret, which has been accidentally obtained by a mad scientist in Birmingham, from falling into Nazi hands. The details are meticulously realised, but the actual McGuffin didn't really convince me, and the ending was a bit too pat as well. Still, interesting to see an author with Sansom's profile dabbling in alternate history.