Mini review: “SS-GB” by Len Deighton (audiobook version)


This is an “alternative history” novel (think “Fatherland“), imagining what if Germany won the second World War.

This is a well crafted story that evokes a believable world where Britain is under direct German control.  We see the effect on the population, the smell of defeat and desperation.  But there is also a thriving black market and those who have become wealthy as a result of their collaboration with the Germans.

A determined resistance movement is planning an audacious plot.  The main character, a policeman at Scotland Yard, walks a fine line between his need to work for his German superiors and his relations with those he knows in the resistance.

Deighton does an excellent job examining the politics not only between the victors and the oppressed but also between the different factions of the German command – the intelligence services, army and police.

In relation specifically to the audiobook version, the quality of narration is first class – this is expected now from the narrator of most of the other Len Deghton audiobooks, such as the “Harry Palmer” books and the “Game, Set and Match” trilogy.

A final bit of good news is that the book is being adapted into a five-part series by the BBC.  Over the last few years they have done a good job with spy stories (for example “Spies of Warsaw” and “Restless“) so I am hopeful they’ll deliver something as good as the book.


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