From the author of THE TRAITOR, comes this second novel which fails to live up to the promise of his debut but is nonetheless still a fairly gripping read. Set in a world where Edward viii failed to abdicate and, in supporting Oswald Moseley, was jointly responsible for Britain falling under facist control, the book follows a hero from the Great War, now a politican, who finds himself leading a resistance movement against the new facist dictatorship he finds himself living in.
To be fair, the best parts of the novel are at the very beginning which details the swift fall of human rights and liberty as the Fascists take more and more power unto themselves- censoring the press and advocating the bullying of jews and the destruction of their homes and shops. To those in power, following the ideals preached by their German counterpart Hitler, the jews are an inferior race and there is little thought given to placing them all in work camps and making them toil for the better of the ordinary person. The swiftness this state of mind takes over the general consciousness is very very scary and if you think this sort of thing could never happen nowadays just consider replacing the word jew with foreigner or muslim and you begin to get the feeling that, even in this age, such atrocities could still be possible given the right set of circumstances.
It is with the later stages of the novel that this book begins not to work. As our hero Armstrong continually manages to evade his ultimate fate in his bid to depose Moseley, the book begins to lose it's credubility and almost begins to resemble some kind of boys-own adventure - even complete with a sword fight and a chase on horseback at it's climax that cultimates in an old sewer tunnel.
What could have been so much better, kind of falls apart at the last hurdle and this is a shame as, until now, the book wasn't half-bad. My advice stick with the far superior FATHERLAND by ROBERT HARRIS or JEFFREY DEAVER'S GARDEN OF BEASTS -both of which leave this firmly in the shade.