The Shadow of Treason
This is a brisk little thriller set in the last months of WW2, during the V2 (rocket) attack on London and the Home Counties. Most of the action is set in Essex, around Southend.
The plot is based on the premise that there is a left wing group plotting a coup d’état to pre-empt the 1945 General Election (I would have thought a right wing group was more likely), using the Home Guard as its strike force.
It is a pleasurable piece of nonsense, although two points spoilt it for me. The first is that in the earlier chapters the narrator breaks into the story from time to time to explain rather obvious facts, such as what were the Black Market and the Home Guard. Apart from being a clumsy intrusion into the narrative, does the author actually believe that these institutions are so long forgotten?
On a second point, as one would expect the hero tracks down the villains only to be captured and put in peril of his life. How does he escape? A V2 lands and wipes out most of the villains, leaving our hero unscathed. Yes, such things happen – I survived a direct hit from a V-bomb myself during a birthday party and there was no warning, but it really is too neat a way to resolve a difficulty in the plot.