Another brilliant book!
Never read any of C J Sansom's before, most I believe have been set back in medieval times and are detective novels with a twist - well that's what I've assumed they are. Anyway I've not read them as they looked large and I was so far back in the series I didn't think I'd catch up, who knows they might make it onto my reading list some time.
Anyway - I saw Dominion whilst browsing in a book store and then again on the Kindle store (I read almost everything on my Kindle these days) and thought the premise for the book really clever. So imagine that in May 1940 as Neville Chamberlain is forced to resign after the defeat of the UK forces in Norway that instead of Winston Churchill leading the coalition war cabinet into the Battle Of Britain and onwards but that Viscount Halifax had in fact won the upper hand and followed a policy of appeasement. The start of the book is slightly off beat from what I believe is the actual facts of the crisis but essentially the outcome is the same - What if Halifax had been PM and Britain had sought a negotiated peace in the early summer of 1940 rather than continue to the war against Hitler's Germany?
The book is set actually 12 years later in 1952 in an England that exists in an uneasy peace with a dominant Germany still very much under the control of the Nazi party still led by Hitler despite his failing health. England is very different from the England we remember post war - Police Auxiliaries patrol the streets stamping out dissent, Germany demands England follow much of its own policies regarding how Jews are treated etc. The British Union Of Fascists still led by Oswald Mosley have a prominent role in government and Germany has a massive presence housed in it's embassy in The Senate House in Bloomsbury.
In all this background we're introduced to some people who are fighting back, spies in the civil service, Churchill forced underground with Atlee and Bevan to run the Resistance with a mandate of fighting against the puppet regime in parliament. The spies and espionage parts of the story are really good but it is the "What if?" premise that really makes it a really good read.
Full double thumbs up on the FTUBRS. If you are looking for a late stocking filler for someone I thoroughly recommend this one.
BTW - silly little thing... I've set a schedule for this post to go live at 09:10 on 11/12/13 - see 09,10,11,12,13 - it'll be nearly 90 years until I can do something similar... stay tuned ;-)