Churchill is dead, the King is in the Tower of London, the Germans have taken over the UK’s nuclear bomb research programme and a Scotland Yard detective is summoned to an apparently straightforward murder. As in Sansom’s later book, London’s fog also features heavily as characters try to slip away from the Germans.
What makes Deighton’s book particularly good is its grounding in the huge internal differences between the German Army and the SS – not only does the book paint an accurate picture of their rivalries and plotting, it also puts their differences to good use to help fuel a plausible sequence of twists and turns.
The book’s brilliance means it is somewhat surprising that it hasn’t made it into TV or movie form yet, even though many other Deighton books have. That is about to change as the BBC started production on a mini-series in 2015.
The audio version of SS-GB is excellently done, and if you go for the printed version, get the 2009 edition both for its excellent cover artwork and for its interesting extra piece about the book by the author.
If you like this, you might also be interested in Dominion.
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