07 April 2014

Dominion by C. J. Sansom, Book review

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books; First Edition edition (January 28, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316254915



1952. Twelve years have passed since Churchill lost to the appeasers and Britain surrendered to Nazi Germany. The global economy strains against the weight of the long German war against Russia still raging in the east. The British people find themselves under increasingly authoritarian rule--the press, radio, and television tightly controlled, the British Jews facing ever greater constraints. 

But Churchill's Resistance soldiers on. As defiance grows, whispers circulate of a secret that could forever alter the balance of the global struggle. The keeper of that secret? Scientist Frank Muncaster, who languishes in a Birmingham mental hospital.

Civil Servant David Fitzgerald, a spy for the Resistance and University friend of Frank's, is given the mission to rescue Frank and get him out of the country. Hard on his heels is Gestapo agent Gunther Hoth, a brilliant, implacable hunter of men, who soon has Frank and David's innocent wife, Sarah, directly in his sights.

(Source Amazon)

My Thoughts:

An in depth and brilliant alternative to the outcome of WW 2, DOMINION is chilling. Leave it to C. J. Sansom to bring us a novel reflecting the emotional flip side of such a conclusion!

Describing a post war and pro Nazi Britain, the author paints a drab and lifeless Empire struggling to retain some sort of autonomy. A treaty has been signed between Great Britain and Germany after the Allies lost the Norway campaign in 1940, Russia still fights on the Eastern front holding off the German advance and only the USA remains free. 

Resistance however is still felt here and there in the UK, Churchill is now hiding but never the less a force to reckon with and a burr in the Germans side. 
Twelve years after Dunkirk's debacle, Hitler is still alive although no one has seen him for months and rumours circulates in German political circles that the wolves are circling. Whom amongst his staff will succeed?

Meanwhile Special Branch Auxiliaries deal with civil unrest and the last of Jewish British citizens are deported to parts unknown in the east. Once the French release their Jews to the German authorities, the final solution will be accomplished.

A civil servant working in the Dominion's office, David Fitzgerald is first drawn into the resistance because he has access to sensitive papers. Unexpectedly Frank Muncaster, a University friend calls him. Frank has been detained in an asylum following a violent altercation with his brother. 
The resistance believes there is more than meets the eye in this case and entertains the idea to lift Frank from his padded cell to find out what he knows. However, Special Branch and the SS are also on Frank's trail and the clock is ticking.

Well researched and exhibiting enough twists to satisfy thrill seekers, Dominion is a hefty read at 640 pages but this gripping novel is none the less worth checking out. 

For myself, the whole concept of 'what if' had to be satisfied, the outcome being I appreciate more than ever the freedom we benefit from all those who sacrificed their lives for us!

4 Stars!

Note: Due to thematic contents including strong language and violence, recommended for mature readers only!

(Photo source HERE)

About the Author:

Born in 1952, Christopher John Sansom grew up in Edinburgh, the only child of an English father and a Scottish mother. 

On the subject of his childhood he is brief, but manages in a few words to convey a sense of colourlessness: his family was "traditional Presbyterian"; his education took place at "a dreadful private school"; his parents weren't readers and the school, where "any sort of imagination was seen as rather naughty", didn't encourage an interest in books either. 

Despite – or perhaps because of – being raised "in a very conservative household, with a small and a capital C", he underwent a political awakening in his teens that was to affect the path of his life

(Source HERE)

Note to Readers: This was a library loan and opinions are mine only!


  1. I thought it was really thought-provoking. Glad you enjoyed it, too.

    1. My curiosity needed to be satisfied Anna!


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