Gareth Rubin
ARRSE Rating
3.5 Mushroom Heads
Liberation Square is the first novel by Gareth Rubin, a journalist who has written for many national newspapers.

This is a detective novel with a twist. Over the years there have been many novels and films that have visited the premise that Germany won the war and the UK was occupied. 'Jackboots on Whitehall' being a truly excellent example... This takes that premise and goes one step further: a weakened Germany successfully invades the UK after D-Day goes wrong, only for the USSR to invade afterwards. A late intervention by the US through Liverpool means that the Iron Curtain finds itself drawn across the centre of England with London split in half a la Berlin.

The novel imagines a London under soviet control with the likes of Philby, Burgess and Blunt now the ruling elite rather than hated defectors. The Stasi-like NatSec cast a pall of fear across a cowed population and national landmarks like St Pauls have been reassigned to become Communist Peoples' Palaces.

The story follows Jane Cawson as she struggles to comes to terms with being found next to the dead body of her husband's ex-wife, a famous film star. Although her husband ends up being the one arrested, she fights to clear his name. The further she digs into the case, the more twists and turns the story takes. As a first novel, the plot is well constructed, keeping the reader guessing right to the end.

As a detective novel it is not bad at all; adding on the backdrop of a Cold War Britain, split by an Iron Curtain, this is well worth a read. Available from Amazon for £10.38 in hardback, £8.46 in paperback or £7.99 on Kindle, this is one for the holiday reading list.

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