About The Book
It’s 1952 and Soviet troops control British streets after winning the Second World War.
After the disastrous failure of D-Day, Britain is occupied by Nazi Germany, and only rescued by Russian soldiers arriving from the east and Americans from the west. The two superpowers divide the nation between them, a wall running through London like a scar.
On the Soviet side of the wall, Jane Cawson calls into her husband’s medical practice, hoping to surprise him. But instead she detects the perfume worn by his former wife, Lorelei, star of propaganda films for the new Marxist regime.
Jane rushes to confront them, but soon finds herself caught up in the glamorous actress’s death.
Her husband Nick is arrested for murder. Desperate to clear his name, Jane must risk the attention of the brutal secret police as she follows a trail of corruption right to the highest levels of the state.
And she might find she never really knew her husband at all
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I have read alternate historical fiction before but never one as convincing or a fascinating as this. It takes place in London in 1952. It isn’t the London that I normally read about, there is a wall through the middle that separates the Soviet side from the rest of England. I spent some time looking at the map, comparing it to the London that I am aware of. The Royal family and Churchill are in the North. Jane lives on the Soviet side with her doctor husband Nick.
When Nick’s first wife, Lorelei, is found dead and Nick is arrested Jane is determined to help. But fear of the security services, his unfriendly secretary and a feeling of being spied on by neighbours makes it very difficult. Whilst she doesn’t give up, she also finds out more than she thought she would. Things that suggest she has never really known him.
The murder investigation is an interesting one and even though I really wanted to know if Nick was guilty or innocent, the more captivating part of the novel for me was how people had to live their lives. How propaganda was used, how people were judged by which radios stations they listened to and the fact that they could be reported for listening to the wrong one. The rations, the teddy boys, a feeling of not being able to trust anybody, National Security, and most of all the fear of anyone with power.