An Invitation to Hitler

Written by Bernard Neeson
Review by Liz Bryan

Britain stands alone in June 1940. The army has been routed in France, and the horror of Dunkirk has just been survived. The situation looks hopeless as all over England peace marches and dissent is increases; there is even the possibility of disloyalty in the Royal Family. Churchill is struggling to be heard by the British Government and some of the high-ranking politicians believe that the right course of action is to broker a deal with Herr Hitler.  Britain can barely go on. And then an invitation seeking talks is sent to Hitler – from an unknown group, or from someone within the Cabinet?

This is a very plausible, intriguing plot, even if it is not necessarily historically accurate. With well-drawn characters and cleverly woven fact threaded within the fiction this story makes a very good “might have been” read. The author has captured the personality of the lead characters, especially Churchill, very well, I thought, and I truly felt that I was standing beside him, smelling the smoke of his cigar while he bellowed at and manipulated his fellow politicians to submit to his will. The challenge and near disaster of the early stages of World War II are vividly brought to life here, and the realisation of how close Britain came to losing the war is made most (alarmingly!) clear.

I won’t reveal more of the plot for fear of spoilers, but for a thrilling read this is recommended.