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Liberation Square Hardcover – 18 Apr 2019
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This richly imagined thriller is set in an alternate past . . . Tightly plotted, tense and set in a chillingly plausible world (Sunday Mirror)
Rubin constructs a tantalising alternative world with 1950s Britain riven apart by its own version of the Berlin Wall - and all because the D-Day landings failed. Against this dystopian nightmare, the author overlays a murder mystery that's sure to appeal to fans of SS-GB, The Man in the High Castle, and Fatherland (David Young, CWA Dagger-winning author of Stasi Child)
A gripping murder mystery set in an alternative 1950s Britain. Rubin's London, split between American and Soviet zones after a disastrous World War Two, is vividly realised and his story is elegantly constructed. One not to miss (William Ryan, author of The Constant Soldier)
In the great tradition of SS-GB and Fatherland, Rubin's alternative-1950s murder mystery takes an ingenious premise - the Americans and the Soviets have carved up Britain between them after rescuing the country from the Nazis - and makes it come alive through sheer storytelling skill (Jake Kerridge)
A twisting murder mystery combined with a chillingly plausible alternative history of a divided Cold War London. Brilliant. (Mason Cross, Richard and Judy bestselling author of The Samaritan)
Liberation Square is a superb and intelligent piece of alternate history. By turns gripping, terrifying and trenchant, it is a remarkably assured debut making Rubin's name one to watch out for in the crowded crime landscape (Stav Sherez, Gold Dagger-winning author of The Intrusions)
A brilliantly researched, shockingly plausible thriller set in an alternative Britain (Claire McGowan)
A stunningly plotted debut, that drags you at break-neck-speed through a nightmare alternative world that is eerily realistic. A must read (Angela Clarke)
From the Inside Flap
1952. Soviet troops control British streets
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. 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.
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.See all Product description
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Jane Cawson and her new husband Nick, a doctor, have been married for just six months. Jane is a teacher currently out of work. One afternoon Jane comes down with a migraine and goes to her husband’s doctors surgery to see him. When she arrives she is informed that he left to go for a walk about an hour ago and they don’t know when he will be back.
Jane decides to wait for him and enters his office where she discovers a pile of letters, one is scented and she is certain that the smell is that of her husband’s ex-wife, actress Lorelei. Convinced that her new husband is having an affair with his ex-wife, Jane goes to Lorelei’s house to confront them. However, when she arrives Lorelei is in the bath, dead. Jane goes for help and the police and her husband soon arrive at the scene.
After some questioning, the police let her go but not before she sees her husband being arrested for Lorelei’s murder. Convinced he is innocent, Jane and a British officer, Sergeant Frank Tibbot work together to discover what really happened to Lorelei and try to clear Nicks name, but Jane might just discover that her new husband isn’t exactly who he says he is.
This is the second book that I have read this year which is set in an alternative history after World War Two. Alternative histories are quite popular at the moment and I can see why.
The book had me engrossed in the plot from the opening scene. The UK is split into two sections, Democratic United Kingdom and Republic of Great Britain, both areas divided by a high wall, protected by soldiers reminded me of a certain president’s plans. A handy map at the front of the book shows you exactly where that divide is, just below Oxford. There is also a map showing you the centre of London as it stands now – or in 1952 when the book is set.
What is truly frighting about the book is how realistic it is and how the UK could of very much ended up as it is within the pages. It also has you questioning how well you can actually ever know a person.
There is great chemistry between the characters which radiates off the pages. The book is exciting and draws you into the events and has you eagerly waiting for the pieces to unfold and the plot to reveal what really happened to Lorelei.
The book is filled with rich secrets, at times I found myself rushing through the pages needing to know more. The story has been very cleverly written and is a complete mixture of genres thrown into one. From crime to thriller, mystery to historical fiction and even espionage too. It is incredible that this is Gareth Rubin’s debut novel as the writing is spot on and the plot is flawless.
Book Reviewed on Whispering Stories Blog
*I received a free copy of this book, which I voluntarily reviewed
Part of this country is recognisable, while other sections are different. It is 1952 and those in power include Anthony Blunt and Guy Burgess, while Teddy Boys lurk outside milk bars, rationing, as it was despite actually winning the war, was very much in place, the Royal Family are in Scotland and George Orwell was re-educated after a book set on a farm, but is, at least, still alive.
Into this city we meet Jane Cawson, married to a doctor, Nick, for just six months. She is more concerned with personal matters, than political ones, believing her husband is having an affair with his ex-wife, actress Lorelei, the beautiful star of propaganda films. When her husband is missing from the office, she fears he is with her and storms around to her house, only to find her dead. This leads to Nick being accused of the murder and Jane, along with British policeman, Sergeant Frank Tibbot, investigating the crime.
This is something between a crime and a spy novel, with Jane investigating a world which is full of lies and secrets. It has an interesting premise and the author has created a believable, alternative scenario. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.