A Thousand Suns
On the 29th April 1945, the Allies secretly surrender to Hitler’s Germany. Four hours later, their surrender is withdrawn. This sensational fact remains a secret until, half a century later, photographer Chris Roland, diving off the cost of New York State, discovers the remains of an aircraft in the sea. This is the starting point for a pacy debut thriller from Alex Scarrow, which swings back and forth across the Atlantic and backwards and forwards in time from the last days of World War Two to the present.
Scarrow has done just what novelists should do: he has taken his research, considered it from all angles and asked himself the question, what if? His answer is ingenious and plausible. The novel is a little slow to start and would have benefited from some tighter editing. To begin with, the timeslips lack rhythm, leaving the reader as much at sea as the unfortunate pilots of the sunken aircraft. Once into his stride, however, Scarrow delivers a great adventure story peopled by well rounded and sympathetic characters – especially Rowland and the pilot, Max. It’s a good job he isn’t writing about the Romans, or brother Simon might have cause for concern.
Recommended beach reading, especially for optimistic snorkellers.