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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, dec 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.


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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, dec 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.

30 review for The British Lion

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cold War Conversations Podcast

    A chilling re-imagining of a Britain under Nazi Occupation. It’s 1946 and 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. The book is the sequel to “The Darkest Hour” which sadly I haven’t read yet, but “British Lion” is easily read as a standalone book. The storyline might seem fanciful at first glance, but Tony Schumacher has created a credible alternative world where the British populatio A chilling re-imagining of a Britain under Nazi Occupation. It’s 1946 and 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. The book is the sequel to “The Darkest Hour” which sadly I haven’t read yet, but “British Lion” is easily read as a standalone book. The storyline might seem fanciful at first glance, but Tony Schumacher has created a credible alternative world where the British population are caught in a three way bind between the Nazi occupiers, a British Resistance organisation and the criminal underworld make the most of working with the other two. In detective Rossett, Schumacher has created a fascinating, flawed and complex character who is doubly plagued with remorse for his wife and son killed by the resistance and also for his collaboration with the German occupiers in assisting in the rounding up the Jews for the Final Solution. The other characters are richly portrayed from the sinister East End gangster Ma Price to the scientist Ruth Hartz who is no simple egg head. The action is fast paced and excellently told. Schumacher’s research is impeccable and he brings alive the sights, sounds and smells of 1940s Britain. There is a resemblance to CJ Sansom’s Dominion and perhaps some of Len Deighton’s SSGB too in the overall plotline, but it’s the complex characters such as Rossett that keep the attention. An enjoyable read and definitely worth a look if you enjoyed Robert Harris' Fatherland and CJ Sansom's Dominion.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Purple Country Girl (Sandy)

    I received a copy of The British Lion through a Goodreads Giveaway. The British Lion is fast-paced and suspenseful with a cast of characters that is unique and flawed. It is the second book in a series featuring the unusual duo of London detective John Rossett and his Nazi boss and friend, Major Ernst Koehler. The setting of the book is intriguing - an alternative history where the Germans have won World War II and now occupy conquered Great Britain. Schumacher’s world is disturbing realistic an I received a copy of The British Lion through a Goodreads Giveaway. The British Lion is fast-paced and suspenseful with a cast of characters that is unique and flawed. It is the second book in a series featuring the unusual duo of London detective John Rossett and his Nazi boss and friend, Major Ernst Koehler. The setting of the book is intriguing - an alternative history where the Germans have won World War II and now occupy conquered Great Britain. Schumacher’s world is disturbing realistic and wonderfully atmospheric. I have not read the first book in the series, The Darkest Hour, and even though events in that book are detailed in The British Lion, I still plan to read it. The incidents in the previous book have left Rossett with a gunshot wound. He is recovering in the hospital while Koelher, who was also injured, is working to cover up what happened. Rossett, tired of the horrific duty he was assigned after the defeat (assisting the Nazis in rounding up Jewish citizens), just wants to return to his old job as a policeman so he can do good again. This, however, will not be easy due to his connection with the Germans. As the dust continues to settle and attempts are made to resume what constitutes a normal life in this terrifying new world, something terrible happens: Koehler’s wife and young daughter are kidnapped by American spies. Knowing Koehler’s connections and history, the Americans think by leveraging his family, Koehler will be their best chance at retrieving a brilliant Jewish scientist, Ruth Hartz, who has the knowledge and expertise to build an atomic bomb. It’s due to these traits that she has been spared the fate of other Jewish citizens. Even though the world’s future is at stake, she works on building the bomb because her own survival depends on it. Koelher, devastated and frightened for his family, turns to Rossett for help. Things get messy real quick as multiple parties go into play including a violent British resistance movement, more Nazis and some American politicians who do not want construction on the bomb to stop because America supports Hitler. Though it may seem unlikely that America would support this monster, in this alternate history, however, Schumacher makes it seems not so far-fetched. There is so much happening in The British Lion but Schumacher connects all the dots and crosses all the Ts, making smooth transitions while never taking his foot off the gas. The pace never slows and the sketchy characters keep coming! The conflicted American spies sent on a secret, and apparently unsanctioned, mission are an interesting pair as are the two Nazi policemen who unwittingly get pulled into Koehler’s mission to save his family. Ma Price, part of the resistance movement and a criminal, is a horrible woman but a fascinating character. Ruth Hartz is a lot tougher than she seems and continues to surprise as the story progresses. The British Lion is hard to put down because of the great characters, constant action and the cliffhanger-like endings of most of the chapters. Being a history nerd with an interest in WWII, The British Lion is right up my alley and I look forward to reading more in this series.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    A powerful, compelling thriller - beautifully written and populated by complex, fascinating characters, drawn from each of the factions that rule and sabotage this alternate Britain. Superb.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Darcia Helle

    If I could have found time to read this book all at once, I would not have put it down. I was engrossed, riveted. I didn't want to blink. Some authors excel at creating characters, others at plot. Tony Schumacher excels at both. Pinpointing what I loved most is impossible, because I loved every aspect, every little nuance, of this story. Let's start with the plot. This is historical fiction, based on an alternate version of WWII. Here, the Nazis have won the war and taken over Britain. The US is If I could have found time to read this book all at once, I would not have put it down. I was engrossed, riveted. I didn't want to blink. Some authors excel at creating characters, others at plot. Tony Schumacher excels at both. Pinpointing what I loved most is impossible, because I loved every aspect, every little nuance, of this story. Let's start with the plot. This is historical fiction, based on an alternate version of WWII. Here, the Nazis have won the war and taken over Britain. The US is supporting Hitler. While this might sound crazy on the surface, Schumacher shows us just how easily this could have occurred. We see how one little turn of events creates a landslide in an entirely different direction. Schumacher clearly knows his history and he mixes those facts throughout, using the reality of WWII as a backdrop to his alternate world. The result is a plot so realistic that I found myself shuddering against the possibilities. While the plot kept me on edge and happily uncomfortable (an oxymoron, I know!), the characters held the power. They are real and flawed and oh so human. My emotions were all wrapped up in theirs. The intensity left me breathless. This book is the sequel to The Darkest Hour. While you could essentially read this one as a stand-alone, I highly recommend starting with the first book. The experience is unforgettable, and will leaving you asking, "What if?" *A massive thank you to the publisher for allowing me an early read!*

  5. 5 out of 5

    Billy Roper

    Throughout this well-written sequel to "The Darkest Hour", Tony Schumacher succeeds in making every character, from an SS Major in charge of removal of Jews from a conquered Britain, to a former British war hero cop turned collaborator, to a rogue, murderous American spy, by turns sympathetic and repulsive. Action? Check. Intrigue? In spades. Drama? In droves. This alternate history novel, the second in a series which I've just been assured by the author will continue, pulls no punches emotional Throughout this well-written sequel to "The Darkest Hour", Tony Schumacher succeeds in making every character, from an SS Major in charge of removal of Jews from a conquered Britain, to a former British war hero cop turned collaborator, to a rogue, murderous American spy, by turns sympathetic and repulsive. Action? Check. Intrigue? In spades. Drama? In droves. This alternate history novel, the second in a series which I've just been assured by the author will continue, pulls no punches emotionally, either. Very highly recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carmen Bollinger

    “Chess wouldn't work without pawns.” This sequel to Darkest Hour has Rossett trying to rescue innocents again. When SS Major Koehler's wife and daughter are kidnapped by Americans, he asks Rossett for help. Their demand is a Jewess scientist broken out of a top-secret facility and delivered to them. “You're about the only friend I have. I don't know what that says about you or me, though.” Alternative history, thriller, and espionage British Lion covers a lot of ground. Should you read Darkest Hour “Chess wouldn't work without pawns.” This sequel to Darkest Hour has Rossett trying to rescue innocents again. When SS Major Koehler's wife and daughter are kidnapped by Americans, he asks Rossett for help. Their demand is a Jewess scientist broken out of a top-secret facility and delivered to them. “You're about the only friend I have. I don't know what that says about you or me, though.” Alternative history, thriller, and espionage British Lion covers a lot of ground. Should you read Darkest Hour first? Yes, just to know Rossett. Do you have to? No. Darkest Hour was Schumacher's debut, and it's worth the time, but British Lion is even better and can stand alone. You'll have a spoiler alert if you read them out of order, but you'll still enjoy them. “You see, Koehler, whatever I do, however badly I behave, and whatever carnage I leave behind, I'm just an amateur compared to you, and I always will be.”

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk

    This is one of the best alternative realities I have ever read. There is no glory, no nobility. the world we journey through has that gritty, dirty, dystopic atmosphere that I'm so familiar with when I read about the real Nazi-occupied non-Slavic states. John Rossett is no knight in shining armour, no sleeping Arthur waiting to be awakened; he works for the Germans, he used to round up Jews and send them off on transports. His saving grace is that he is a hardened former-soldier but, and you fee This is one of the best alternative realities I have ever read. There is no glory, no nobility. the world we journey through has that gritty, dirty, dystopic atmosphere that I'm so familiar with when I read about the real Nazi-occupied non-Slavic states. John Rossett is no knight in shining armour, no sleeping Arthur waiting to be awakened; he works for the Germans, he used to round up Jews and send them off on transports. His saving grace is that he is a hardened former-soldier but, and you feel it in the background all the time, he is sliding into a world without hope. His saving grace is that a crisis comes his way... and he's good in a crisis. His friend's wife and child have been kidnapped and he has turned to Rossett for help. Did I mention the fact that Rossett's friend is an SS officer? It is so difficult to feel any sympathy for a member of the super-race and his family but Schumacher manages to help us through that (even though I was dragged there screaming and kicking). I wanted to be on the side of the Resistance and all those opposed to the Nazis, but in this bitterly cold, hopeless world, there are no heroes, no good guys. It's a hard world hammered out on the anvils of hate. Tony Schumacher has created such a believable universe that I found myself sitting there, for a moment, thinking about my parents and what might be happening to them. The story takes place in January 1947. My mother would probably have still been working as a slave labourer on the farm in Hizepe, near Bramsche, where she did all the housework as well as working in the fields from dawn till dusk, without pay. Bullying and threatening behaviour was used all the time. The food was inadequate and hunger was constant. No clothing was provided, footwear was a particular problem, and this meant freezing during winter - and the winter of 1947 was a particularly hard one. I'm not sure when I realised it but this was probably the winter she would have died. Which makes the fact that my father was possibly still alive and working in the paper factory in Wuppertall (since it would never have been bombed by the allies) totally academic. In this universe I would never have been born. This is a brilliant read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shomeret

    This was a Goodreads giveaway win. So I received a copy for free from the publisher via Goodreads last year. I'm sorry it took so long. Since the print copy was too bulky to carry on mass transit, I noticed that the Kindle edition had been discounted and purchased it for my commute. It still took me more than a week to read. It's a well developed alternate universe. It made sense to me within the context. I also thought that characterization was excellent, and that the thriller plot was well pace This was a Goodreads giveaway win. So I received a copy for free from the publisher via Goodreads last year. I'm sorry it took so long. Since the print copy was too bulky to carry on mass transit, I noticed that the Kindle edition had been discounted and purchased it for my commute. It still took me more than a week to read. It's a well developed alternate universe. It made sense to me within the context. I also thought that characterization was excellent, and that the thriller plot was well paced. I would like to read the sequel, An Army of One.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Another exciting thriller set in Nazi-occupied England, starring John Rossett and several other familiar characters from book 1, The Darkest Hour. It begins very shortly after that book ends, and it's an understatement to say that the plot twists and turns so much, you're never quite sure who can be trusted. These books would make a great miniseries and I am so looking forward to reading the next (hopefully not last?) installment. Another exciting thriller set in Nazi-occupied England, starring John Rossett and several other familiar characters from book 1, The Darkest Hour. It begins very shortly after that book ends, and it's an understatement to say that the plot twists and turns so much, you're never quite sure who can be trusted. These books would make a great miniseries and I am so looking forward to reading the next (hopefully not last?) installment.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vicky-Leigh Sayer

    The British Lion is Tony Schumacher's second novel featuring Detective John Rossett and his ex-boss, Nazi Ernst Koehler, and the sequel to The Darkest Hour. The British Lion could easily be read as a stand alone novel, but I would highly recommend reading the Darkest Hour too - just because it's so good! Set in the years following World War Two we are invited by Schumacher to consider an alternative to history as we know it. Great Britain has been defeated in the War and is now under German occ The British Lion is Tony Schumacher's second novel featuring Detective John Rossett and his ex-boss, Nazi Ernst Koehler, and the sequel to The Darkest Hour. The British Lion could easily be read as a stand alone novel, but I would highly recommend reading the Darkest Hour too - just because it's so good! Set in the years following World War Two we are invited by Schumacher to consider an alternative to history as we know it. Great Britain has been defeated in the War and is now under German occupation. Detective John Henry Rossett is reconsidering his future after an incident that looks likely to cost him his job. His ex-boss and unlikely friend, Nazi Commander Ernst Koehler is on hand to help Rossett decide his fate due to his own involvement in Rossett's misdemeanors. When Koehler's wife and daughter go missing, Rossett is called upon to help in the search for the Koehler family. But he has also been contacted by the Koehler's captors to help find Ruth Hartz, a Jewish scientist working on a deadly atomic bomb for Germany. But America doesn't want the German's to get there first and want to use Hartz themselves. As tensions build, lifes are endangered, but Rossett is used to his life being in danger and doesn't much care. But despite everything that has gone between them, he does care about Koehler and his family and wants to do everything in his power to bring everything to a satisfying conclusion. Of course this is occupied Britain and nothing is going to be easy when your every move is scrutinised... The British Lion is yet another brilliant novel by Tony Schumacher and I can't wait to read the next in the series - please tell me there is one?!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Clements

    Just finished the advanced reader provided to McIntyre's Books on behalf of William Morrow. After enjoying the tour de force of Tony Schumacher's debut novel The Darkest Hour being re-immersed into the alternate reality where Great Britain lost World War II and is occupied by the Germans was quite a literary journey. Schumacher's flawed hero John Rossett also known as the British Lion for his wartime exploits has come to grips with his participation in the Final Answer for the Jewish problem in G Just finished the advanced reader provided to McIntyre's Books on behalf of William Morrow. After enjoying the tour de force of Tony Schumacher's debut novel The Darkest Hour being re-immersed into the alternate reality where Great Britain lost World War II and is occupied by the Germans was quite a literary journey. Schumacher's flawed hero John Rossett also known as the British Lion for his wartime exploits has come to grips with his participation in the Final Answer for the Jewish problem in Great Britain and has found himself in an exciting and completely unpredictable geo-political thriller with the British Resistance and the Government in Exile, factions of the American government and the Nazis. I could not put this book down and it exceeded my immense expectations for Schumacher's sophomore campaign with Rossett leading the charge through the snow with the stink of cordite and blood powered by his immense loss and grief. The bleak future of this dystopia is reminiscent of the setting of the The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick but with a fantastic British spin on the horror of what the world would be like if the Nazi Party and the Third Reich won World War II. I'm hoping that Schumacher is already putting the next installment together and someone at Netflix or Amazon need to get the rights for this as it would be an unbelievable mini-series. Thank you Tony Schumacher for taking the time to share your creativity with the world - this book comes out on October 27th and is available for pre-order and at fine booksellers. I strongly recommend getting a copy of The Darkest Hour right now and getting ready for the ride in a broken down British taxi careening down a completely unpredictable path into your heart and mind.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tom Donaghey

    THE BRITISH LION by Tony Schumacher is the kind of book that makes me wish I had more time on my hands. I sped through this alternate history thriller and now I know I should have spent more time with it. Every page seems to hold a new thrill or tangle of suspense that impels you onto the following page, and the one after that. I lost a considerable amount of sleep due to this book. London, after WWII, where the Gestapo if the new Scotland Yard, the SS are everywhere and Jews are hunted and rem THE BRITISH LION by Tony Schumacher is the kind of book that makes me wish I had more time on my hands. I sped through this alternate history thriller and now I know I should have spent more time with it. Every page seems to hold a new thrill or tangle of suspense that impels you onto the following page, and the one after that. I lost a considerable amount of sleep due to this book. London, after WWII, where the Gestapo if the new Scotland Yard, the SS are everywhere and Jews are hunted and removed. John Rossett, hero of the British Empire, pre-war cop and now recovering from near mortal wounds, has only one friend, Major Ernst Koehler. Although Koehler is his boss in this new world, they manage to be friends first, or as much friends as can be in this uneasy world. When operatives from the OSS kidnap Koehler’s wife and daughter, he turns to Rossett to help get them back. The ransom requested: the kidnappers want Koehler to remove a Jewish woman from the advanced physics project at Cambridge and swap the pawns. There are gangsters and resistance personnel, a crotchety ambassador in the figure of Joseph Kennedy, and even President Lindbergh who appears to be against the endeavor. With time running out, John Rossett has to try and be a better man, help his friend, save the day and not die even through the odds are growing against any kind of success. This is the type of writing that makes it a pleasure to read, where the paragraphs smoothly transition one to another in such a fashion that you are through a hundred pages before you realize it. Now I must find a copy of Mr. Schumacher’s first John Rossett novel, THE DARKEST HOUR. I sense I will be giving a rave review to it also. I won this book through the Goodreads program.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Clare O'Beara

    This continues the dark tale of Britain under the Nazis in the 1940s. With the fall of Moscow and Britain, the US never entered the war and now does business with the victors. We get some possible politics of this situation, based on characters of the day. Rossett, the policeman who was severely injured while aiding the escape of a Jewish boy, returns; his SS boss Koehler decides to cover up the matter and allow Rossett to return to work as a London policeman. But the abduction of the SS man's w This continues the dark tale of Britain under the Nazis in the 1940s. With the fall of Moscow and Britain, the US never entered the war and now does business with the victors. We get some possible politics of this situation, based on characters of the day. Rossett, the policeman who was severely injured while aiding the escape of a Jewish boy, returns; his SS boss Koehler decides to cover up the matter and allow Rossett to return to work as a London policeman. But the abduction of the SS man's wife and daughter brings the two to work together again, not much more trustful than they had been. American spies and the attempt to construct an atom bomb lead the tale to Cambridge, where Rossett has to choose whether to help a Jewish scientist, Ruth, who wants to take her secrets with her out of the country. More than anything this 1947 tale is wintry, a winter of the heart and spirit as much as bitter cold. I admire the work that has gone into creating the alternate timeline and events and characters consistent with the day. I did catch one phrase that seemed too modern - a man says he lives off the grid. I don't know how old the phrase is but I've never seen it in 1940s works. There's strong language, violence, deaths and a continuous undercurrent of menace. After all, the Nazis are in power, and they are using the excuse of a continued war with Russia to justify destroying populations. Too much violence for me but some readers won't mind and will rate it more highly. Read The British Lion for a dark, fast-paced thriller and take it as an allegory for modern conflicts.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    I won an ARC of this novel in a goodreads drawing. It is 1946, in a world where the Nazis have occupied all of Europe. In order to procure a Jewish scientist working on the atomic bomb, a couple of Americans kidnap the daughter of an SS Major, in order to blackmail him into letting her out of the country. The SS Major has a friend, John Rosset, who goes after the scientist, and the daughter. Sort of a Le Carre vibe, where there are really no good guys, only evil and weak people trying to do what's I won an ARC of this novel in a goodreads drawing. It is 1946, in a world where the Nazis have occupied all of Europe. In order to procure a Jewish scientist working on the atomic bomb, a couple of Americans kidnap the daughter of an SS Major, in order to blackmail him into letting her out of the country. The SS Major has a friend, John Rosset, who goes after the scientist, and the daughter. Sort of a Le Carre vibe, where there are really no good guys, only evil and weak people trying to do what's right, and mostly failing. Ever since Philip Roth wrote a book with the concept, it is fashionable to have Charles Lindbergh be the President of The United States in alternative history novels with this premise. Considering his service during the war after Pearl Harbor, I'm not sure these are accurate portrayals. Some of the dialogue was also anachronistic, which I found distracting. Pretty good, if not the most original concept.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Felicidad Tan

    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads Program in exchange for an honest review. A book that is very hard to put down because you will be intrigued of what will happen next. Characters are very likable. Their flaws made them human and one would feel like they really exist in this world. A thoroughly well-thought plot. I highly recommend it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    John

    Excellent. I am a fan of historical fiction and especially like the ones that use logic and reason to show a reasonable alternate history. I will be looking in the bookstore for the novel that preceeded this one.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Clay Davis

    A very bad picture of the author on the back flap.

  18. 5 out of 5

    BarbaraH

    Very Good story that takes place during the 1940s What would Britan be like if Hitler had won the war? Enemies must work together in a deadly cat and mouse game

  19. 4 out of 5

    Damien G

    I glad that I have a local library, as I can read books that I might have missed.This is a book similar in style to SS GB.This does not make it a poor read.The book is very much about the two main characters begining to regret their career choices.Nazi boss Koehler is finding that his work for the SS,and Nazis, which centers on the arrest and removal of UK Jews is causing him a moral rethink. British police man John Rossett has had enough of working for Koehler,and the SS, all he wants is to be I glad that I have a local library, as I can read books that I might have missed.This is a book similar in style to SS GB.This does not make it a poor read.The book is very much about the two main characters begining to regret their career choices.Nazi boss Koehler is finding that his work for the SS,and Nazis, which centers on the arrest and removal of UK Jews is causing him a moral rethink. British police man John Rossett has had enough of working for Koehler,and the SS, all he wants is to be a good police officer.This choice is made despite being thought of as a German collaborator by fellow police officers. The German success in1940 has created a Britain that in 1946 is subservient to the Germans. Mosley is now PM, and Edward the seventh is returned as a puppet King.The resistance exists, but is disliked because all their acts of terror result in reprisals.America has a pro German president Lindberg who has kept Joseph Kennedy as US ambassador.In turn the USA's remains neutral and supportive of Hitler's Germany. The novel centers on a secret American spy mission.The renegade agents are to impress, and present proof to President Lindberg that the Germans are developing a Atomic bomb. In Cambridge the atomic research team is helped by a female Jewish scientist. Despite the predjudice by the Germans,she seems to willingly work for them. Dr Ruth Hartz has an affair with a German SS officer. Knowing this is a crime the Germans will not forgive. The solution for the renegade Americans is to kidnap Koehler's wife and daughter and force him in turn to kidnap the Jewish scientist. Only when she is handed over will Koehler's family be realeased.Koheler now needs the help of John Rossett. The novel now centers on the complex politics of the era.The Germans need to ensure total supremacy in Western Europe, and keep the USA as an important ally.The UK resistance finds out about the kidnap,and have picked up Koehler's daughter, and one of the American spy's.They now have to decide what to do with the information tortured out of the young American. There are no good people, each protagonist will continue to torture,and murder. All to achieve their aims.The reality of a UK defeated in 1940 is well written.Also asks the difficult questions of who is a collaborator. Or when does one become a traitor. It right to willingly ensure (for the greater good of the UK) the death of of innocent people? The first novel of the series set up the second nicely. I am looking forward to the third, hoping for more complex plotting, and answers to many moral conundrums.These center on how a nation copes with invasion and defeat. The novel is a reminder of what may have happened if the UK had failed to evacuate our soldiers from Dunkirk in May 1940.

  20. 4 out of 5

    John

    This book is the middle book of an alternative history trilogy set in the East End of London and Cambridge of a World War Two which the third Reich won. The hero is John Rossett, a London metropolitan policeman and the heroine a numbers lady on the nuclear project. It is therefore comparable to Len Deighton's "SS-GB" or to Harry Turtledove's long series. It succeeds better than either because the characters are all weighing ambiguous situations rather than being heroes and villains. He is also v This book is the middle book of an alternative history trilogy set in the East End of London and Cambridge of a World War Two which the third Reich won. The hero is John Rossett, a London metropolitan policeman and the heroine a numbers lady on the nuclear project. It is therefore comparable to Len Deighton's "SS-GB" or to Harry Turtledove's long series. It succeeds better than either because the characters are all weighing ambiguous situations rather than being heroes and villains. He is also very true to location and details without being intrusive. Alternative history has to offer something which a novel set in real time can't. This does-the question how does loyalty to an individual balance with loyalty to a large group, and how do groups which do not trust each other work together for a common aim (or not). Long chunks of this are dialogue and parts already read like a film script. I'm not sure I will be able to watch the HBO version.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Phillip III

    Loving the series. I have no idea why I haven't heard of Tony Schumacher before. This book involves a kidnapping, one that will inspire more kidnappings, the atomic bomb race -- and as always loyalty, and then again, back-stabbing! The WWII setting makes it that much more exciting. Throwing in the British, the Americans, the Germans -- and, of course, the Nazis, makes the books that much more compelling than some other thrillers I have read. Cannot wait to dive into the third book -- which I have, Loving the series. I have no idea why I haven't heard of Tony Schumacher before. This book involves a kidnapping, one that will inspire more kidnappings, the atomic bomb race -- and as always loyalty, and then again, back-stabbing! The WWII setting makes it that much more exciting. Throwing in the British, the Americans, the Germans -- and, of course, the Nazis, makes the books that much more compelling than some other thrillers I have read. Cannot wait to dive into the third book -- which I have, ready to go! Phillip Tomasso

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robert Samuel

    All round good read. Good interesting story. Book 2 in a good series. Like the backdrop of UK under German rule not long after the war. The characters are ok but can't say you warm to any of them. Action, fast pace story and easy read. I like it. All round good read. Good interesting story. Book 2 in a good series. Like the backdrop of UK under German rule not long after the war. The characters are ok but can't say you warm to any of them. Action, fast pace story and easy read. I like it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kay Smillie

    Having read and enjoyed The Darkest Hour I was looking forward to this. It has transpired to be even better than the first John Rossett novel. Kidnapping, many deaths, many unexpected turns and a rollicking good read. Set in an alternative UK where the Nazis invaded us successfully, Rossett is trying (again) to right the wrongs he has done in the past. Well written indeed. Ray Smillie

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brad Kirbyson

    This book was very compelling reading/listening. The writing is so crisp and clear and the plot line and characters so realistic and believable that I got completely sucked in. Couldn't put it down. Really looking forward to the 3rd book in the series This book was very compelling reading/listening. The writing is so crisp and clear and the plot line and characters so realistic and believable that I got completely sucked in. Couldn't put it down. Really looking forward to the 3rd book in the series

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Slow to start but worth the wait.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rhianne Buckland

    Excellent storyline with a good pace. Keeps you turning the pages late into the night! You find yourself really rooting for the protagonist, John Rossett. You don't have to have read the first book in the series in order to follow the story, but it would help only to set the scene and explain the background of the main characters. My only criticism is that there are so many characters and locations that it often gets confusing at times, and this is the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars. Excellent storyline with a good pace. Keeps you turning the pages late into the night! You find yourself really rooting for the protagonist, John Rossett. You don't have to have read the first book in the series in order to follow the story, but it would help only to set the scene and explain the background of the main characters. My only criticism is that there are so many characters and locations that it often gets confusing at times, and this is the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sander

    I found it quite hard to get started on this book, since there are so many characters in it and keeping track of who is who took a while. But the story is so well written, it really takes you into the atmosphere of the book!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Guy M. McCullough

    Schumacher is a master of the genre. Another tour de force, featuring the British Lion. You’ll feel as if you are in Nazi-occupied Britain, hanging on every plot twist.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Roger Brunyate

    A Dizzying Alt-History Thriller Shortly after picking this up, I realized that it was a sequel to Schumacher's The Darkest Hour , which I haven't read. It didn't matter, though; I found that the unseen presence of the earlier book gave the characters in this one a rich back-story, without involving much of the blatant catch-up narrative typical of most sequels. I cannot say, though, that it would not affect my reading if I decided to go back. Probably not; Schumacher throws so many twists and A Dizzying Alt-History Thriller Shortly after picking this up, I realized that it was a sequel to Schumacher's The Darkest Hour , which I haven't read. It didn't matter, though; I found that the unseen presence of the earlier book gave the characters in this one a rich back-story, without involving much of the blatant catch-up narrative typical of most sequels. I cannot say, though, that it would not affect my reading if I decided to go back. Probably not; Schumacher throws so many twists and turns into this one, that I can't imagine that knowing the basic outcome would be a problem in the earlier volume either. Schumacher's idea is that the Germans followed through the rout of the British at Dunkirk, invaded the country, and won the war. Hitler now controls all of Western Europe. In the East, Stalin has gone, though some pockets of resistance still remain. In Britain, the former King Edward VIII is back on the throne, Oswald Mosley is Prime Minister, and Joe Kennedy is still American ambassador, representing a country that, under President Lindbergh, has stayed out of the war and is seeking a rapprochement with the Germans. What is the point of the alternative history? Haven't we had enough of the old cliches of Nazis bad, Allies good? Yes, but the alternative history format plays with the cliches in order to work against them. There are no Allies, for one thing; the Americans and British are on two distinct sides in this, and the British come in many different shades, including outright collaborators, official resistance, and criminal gangs playing both sides against the middle. True, the Nazi evil endures; Jews are still being rounded up; there can be no sympathy for the regime as a whole. But it throws into relief individual Germans who, because of dawning moral scruples or personal loyalties, no longer blindly toe the party line. Indeed, the main fascination of the book for me was the fact that no supposition about the allegiance of any of the characters holds good for long. It makes a wonderfully ambiguous premise for a thriller, not least in the two main characters inherited from the previous book. John Rossett, the British Lion of the title, is a former cop turned war hero turned collaborator turned lone wolf, a man of lethal skills but deeply flawed, seeking for redemption. Ernst Koehler, his friend and former boss, is an SS major, already sickening of his job as a Jew-Hunter. And his loyalties will shift again when his wife and daughter are kidnapped in an attempt to get him to snatch a Jewish atomic scientist from the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge and smuggle her out of the country. I need say no more about the plot, save that its strength does not entirely hide the stylistic annoyances of a typical thriller. You have to accept the breathless style with short one-phrase sentences cascading down the left-hand margin in the tenser scenes. You have to accept a number of implausibilities and an elevated body count. You have to accept (in my case reluctantly) that Schumacher uses moral second thoughts as much as a device to keep you guessing as in pursuit of a larger ethical arc. On the other hand, you do get a remarkably fast-paced thriller that sustains its suspense for over 400 pages before bringing it all to a head in a final shoot-out. Only here did the action become a little hard to follow—not surprising, since Schumacher had quite a juggling act to clear the decks for yet another sequel to come….

  30. 4 out of 5

    Victor Gentile

    Tony Schumacher in his new book, “The British Lion” Book Two in the John Rossett series published by William Morrow gives us another adventure with John Rossett. From the back cover: 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 Ge Tony Schumacher in his new book, “The British Lion” Book Two in the John Rossett series published by William Morrow gives us another adventure with John Rossett. From the back cover: 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. There is a new type of fiction called Alternate History where the author takes an event and alters it significantly. Tony Schumacher knows his real history and, because of this, has given us a well thought out what would have happened if the Germans had won WWII. This book is book two, a sequel to “The Darkest Hour”, however it can be read as standalone, either way this is a chilling re-imagining of a Britain under Nazi control. What is totally fascinating is that everything that Mr. Schumacher provides is perfectly believable and probably would have happened. On top of everything this is quite an engrossing thriller that will have you muttering “oh, no” as you are reading as fast as you can to get to the next page. Don’t start this book late at night as it will cost you sleep as you try to finish it before you go to bed. I am already looking forward to the next book in this series. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from William Morrow. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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