Book Review – April 2017 – Sallie Eden

SS GB by Len Deighton – Published by Harper in paperback in 2017, first published in 1978

I can’t compare the book to the recent TV series as I’m afraid I gave up on the latter, finding it too slow and one dimensional. However it prompted me to reread the book. 

This is a murder mystery laced with espionage, love, treachery, friendship and interesting domestic detail. 

It is 1941; Britain has surrendered and is occupied by its former enemy; Churchill has been killed, the King is imprisoned in the Tower of London and Scotland Yard and its officers are under German control. 

“Archer of the Yard”, aka Detective Inspector Douglas Archer, is heading an investigation into a murder, until a senior German officer arrives from Berlin to take over. 

It becomes clear it is no straightforward murder and both enemies and allies are involved in trying to cover up the background, or maybe they want the truth to come out? Whose side are they really on? Archer is in the middle – a real “rock and a hard place” situation. 

Deighton’s attention to detail and meticulous research make this a believable and intriguing story in which every word matters. Far, far better than the tv series. 

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