Review

Tony Schumacher’s sequel to THE DARKEST HOUR, an alternative history of World War II and, subsequently post-World War II, THE BRITISH LION, hits the ground running and leaves you breathless to the very last page.

In this crackling alternate history thriller set in the years after World War II—the riveting sequel to The Darkest Hour—London detective John Rossett joins forces with his Nazi boss to save the commander’s kidnapped daughter as the Germans race to make the first atomic bomb.

With the end of the war, the victorious Germans now occupy a defeated Great Britain. In London, decorated detective John Henry Rossett, now reporting to the Nazi victors, lies in a hospital bed recovering from gunshot wounds. Desperate to avoid blame over the events that led to the shooting, his boss, Ernst Koehler, covers up the incident. But when Koehler’s wife and daughter are kidnapped by American spies, the terrified German turns to the only man he trusts to help him—a shrewd cop who will do whatever is necessary to get the job done: John Rossett.

Surviving his brush with death, Rossett agrees to save his friend’s daughter. But in a chaotic new world ruled by treachery and betrayal, doing the right thing can get a man killed. Caught between the Nazi SS, the violent British resistance, and Americans with very uncertain loyalties, Rossett must secretly make his way out of London and find Ruth Hartz, a Jewish scientist working in Cambridge. Spared from death because of her intellect and expertise, she is forced to work on developing the atom bomb for Germany. Though she knows it could end any hope of freedom in Europe and maybe even the world, Ruth must finish the project—if she, too, wants to survive.

I have to be honest, the idea that the Nazi’s actually won WWII, was beyond repulsive to me and I had to force my brain to remember this is alternative history. The book does, however, bring to light what could have happened in the most vivid and gripping ways had the Allied forces failed, Moscow tumbled, and the Americans never entered the war (and are now working on cultivating Nazi/American relations).

I hadn’t read the first book, THE DARKEST HOUR, which outlines how this alternative history came to be, but I assure you, I will be remedying that soon. However, THE BRITISH LION stands on its own and the author does a great job encapsulating THE DARKEST HOUR so you have a good idea what happened.

Mr. Schumacher does a brilliant job of creating, not only a realistic (albeit terrifying) world…

1947 Britain is under Nazi occupation and many Brits have become collaborators with their former enemies. One of those collaborators is John Rossett, an ex-policeman, turned military hero, who, after his wife and child are killed in a British Resistance bombing, begins working for the Gestapo rounding up Jews.

In THE DARKEST HOUR, Rossett comes out of his fog of grief and anger and begins seeking redemption. He helps a Jewish boy escape and is seriously injured. SS boss, Ernst Koehler, and about the only friend Rossett has left, covers up his involvement in the escape and finds him a job once more as a policeman.

When Koehler’s wife and daughter are kidnapped, Koehler enlists Rossett to break a Jewish scientist out of Cambridge, where she has been forced by the SS to build a bomb, one the world has never seen before, in exchange for his wife and daughter. And that’s just the beginning, folks.

It is winter in Britain, and you feel the cold down to your bones as you follow the story from different characters’ prospectives. It is a twisting, turning, heart-pounding ride through the dirty backstreets of London to the lifeless countryside of Cambridgeshire with non-stop action that “forced” me to read until the wee hours of the morning.

Mr. Schumacher does a brilliant job of creating, not only a realistic (albeit terrifying) world, but also absolutely riveting characters, intertwining actual historical figures with fictional characters together to keep you enthralled and flipping pages as quickly as you can read.

I’m already looking forward to the sequel!

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About the Reviewer

Dayna Linton

Dayna Linton – Dayna is the very busy divorced mother of four “exceptional” children. She spends her time running not only this website but is also the founder and President of Rising Phoenix Charitable Foundation (www.rpcf.org) – a charitable organization which benefits women and children’s causes. Dayna is a firm believer in the worth and value of individuals and hopes to help all embrace who they are, nourish themselves and then “pay it forward” by helping others around them to do the same.

In her spare time, Dayna enjoys reading anything she can get her hands on and hopes to someday have the time to write a book herself.

Dayna is also an avid lover of film and the process that goes into making them. From an early age, she remembers watching the Academy Awards with her mom and cheering on her favorites. When Dayna was little, she just knew she was going to be a big star someday and she would practice in front of a mirror accepting her Oscar. Dayna took four years of drama, which she loved, but found her true passion was dancing. Even today you can catch Dayna dancing just about everywhere she goes, including beaches in the moonlight …