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Book Review: Dominion by C. J. Sansom

Dominion by C.J. Sansom is a political thriller cum war fiction. The book escapes out of the regular course of the history to depict that Nazis have won the WWII and are ruling over Britain, which has become a puppet state of Nazi Germany. The book moves ahead on the counter-fact history by showing Winston Churchill not a prime minister of Britain following Neville Chamberlain, in 1940. Rather, Churchill is leading the Resistance Movement to discourage the current British government which has been supporting Nazis to deport all Jews out of the country.

War fiction novels based around WW-II have to inevitably play around the Jews, and this book is no exception to that. David Fitzgerald, a civil servant, is a half-Jewish owing to his maternal roots. He is clandestinely involved in the Resistance Movement and given with a responsibility to move his childhood friend Frank Muncaster out of the country. Since Muncaster holds a secret about atomic bomb invention, which if discovered by Germans can potentially bleak the future of the world, especially Europe.

With the Gestapo chasing them, David and his team is on the run, and soon to their advantage they are lost in the London’s great smog of 1952. On the other side, David’s wife Sarah falls into a pit of troubles which she can never imagine. Eventually, they all struggle; fight and a few succeed to migrate to America through submarines. The involvement of the invention of atomic bomb with Frank Muncaster makes this book a compelling read. Frank prefers dying instead of revealing the secret to the Germans. For this act he is later applauded by Churchill.

Additionally, the story traces back characters’ relationships from college and school days, which was common in ‘Winder in Madrid’ as well. The language and the description of natural setting are average. Those who have already read ‘Winder in Madrid’ may find this book an overrun or banal at one point, though it is not a sequel to that. First time readers of war-fiction may like it.

More than war and battlefields, this novel is more about the ramifications of war on people. Since the main characters remain on the run for most of the time, the work looks adventurous, but at the same time it skips some important sweeps. And sweeps are imperative for war-fictions.


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