Bluffing Mr. Churchill

Written by John Lawton
Review by John R. Vallely

Few events in modern times are as packed with historical drama as the London Blitz of 1940-1941. Confronted by an enemy whose forces had marched from triumph to triumph, Britain and her empire found themselves as Hitler’s only remaining opponent following the fall of France. Placing their faith in the Hurricanes and Spitfires of the Royal Air Force, the British public quickly had that faith tested when the Luftwaffe turned its attention to mass attacks on cities. As the Blitz rolls on, the people living under the bombs must adjust to fit the demands of this frightening and cruel world. John Lawton shows us this fascinating saga of a people coping with unimaginable stress by having German spies, British police, and American intelligence operatives fight a shadow war on London’s bombed out landscape while the RAF and Luftwaffe duel overhead. An American agent has smuggled the plans for Germany’s pending assault on the Soviet Union from Berlin to London. German agents are in hot pursuit as are American and British secret agents and policemen. In what is certainly one of the oddest partnerships in fiction, the American Calvin Cormack teams up with Special Branch officer Walter Stilton to hunt down the American double agent. Cormack must navigate the increasingly confusing world of wartime London while simultaneously coping with his demanding love interest, the daughter of his partner Stilton. The tangled webs of these lives are all played out against a backdrop of black marketeering, police procedure, and the general mayhem of a civilization faced with constant terror.