K Paperback – 5 Oct 1998
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Mail on Sunday
‘A satisfying concoction from an accomplished writer’
‘He can weave a web of suspense, laced with historical and mythological references that bait the imagination, satisfactorily embroidered with bullet holes and bloodshed.’
From the Back Cover
A TERRIFYING WHAT-IF NOVEL FROM AN AUTHOR AT THE HEIGHT OF HIS POWERS
It is wartime and John Ridgeforth has been smuggled, his mission deadly secret, into a country which he thought he knew, thought he loved. It is a country where public lynchings are condoned; where concentration camps are rife; where neighbour spies neighbour, and lovers are dangerous enemies: where Jews, Blacks, Communists are branded with the letter K. A country where K stands for kike; and for the Ku Klux Klan.
'K' carries us into a nightmare world which is also uncannily close to truth and our worst fears, most haunting dreads. We have seen fanaticism; now we can see what could so easily have been all our yesterdays.
MAIL ON SUNDAY
"A satisfying concoction from an accomplished writer"
"He can weave a web of suspense, laced with historical and mythological references that bait the imagination, satisfactorily embroidered with bullet holes and bloodshed."
Top customer reviews
The idea of American Nazism rampant in 1940 is not as utterly crazy as one might initially think. The 1930s was a time of extremisms. Many otherwise normal people felt that the future was between Fascism/Nazism and Stalinism - and took sides. FDR's election and his handling of the Depression was truly remarkable in that it created an alternative route between extremisms. Having said that the USA experienced many extremist political movements - the contemporary Militias, Neo-Nazis and other groups are not an isolated phenomenon!What if one or other group had succeeded in coming to power....?
As a thriller writer Easterman is quite relentless with his characters. Happy endings and easy solutions are never certain. The good guys pay a terrible price - and here, particularly in his portrayal of an American 'Maquis', this is apparent.
All in all a highly original and chilling piece of thriller writing. Readers who dislike science fiction should not be put off by the alternate history. Easterman weaves a very convincing narrative that makes our suspension of disbelief easy.
I suppose that it could be considered an alternate history novel as well as horror. But it gives a picture of a world where being able to write a review like this would be totally impossible; if you enjoyed breathing that is.
This is a world where the USA has espoused the views of the Third Reich with all the attendant horror that that implies. America houses concentration camps to rival Auschwitz and only Britain appears to stand against the tide of oppression.
Some of the characterisation may be a little lacking in depth and there might have been more research into the accuracy of dialogue, but this is a different past so who's to say it wouldn't be that way?
Read this - enjoy the story as what it is - a terrific story - and give thanks that our world (or at least this part of it) is not like that.
An agent infiltrates the regime to disrupt the alliance and ensure it fails, its an interesting story, not exactly alternative history in the sense of what would have happened if Germany had won, more what would have happened if a popular coalition of the extreme right had succeeded in America aswell as Europe.
Not to incredible when you consider the sympathies of corporatists like Ford, news reels from the time commending Nazi Germany's efficiency and stalwark opposition to "Godless Communism".
Politics and alt-history aside, the pace is good, character development good and action good, however I do think that it begins better than it ends and at points there are sort of leaps in the plot, I dont think its credible that the good guys would fair so well as they do but then that's why its fiction I guess.
Anyone who likes this book I would really recommend The Final Judgement to.
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