reads like Agatha Christie imagines a Great Britain under Nazi rule
. in other words, a police procedural/ detective story set against a German victory over Great Britain. Overall Len Deighton's work is fairly unimpressive, although not without merit, containing twists, drama, and a measure of plausibility.
In a rainy, perpetually night-time UK, the German invasion has come, and the population, mostly, is cowed and obedient. America remain neutral and although poised against Japan; Germany and the USSR are still non-belligerent. A detective story / murder mystery unfolds against collaboration, defeat, and unfolding loyalties. Detective Archer of Scotland Yard investigates a strange murder victim with burns that are... radioactive?
A reflection of UK narcissism rather than a compelling world, i.e., "what if US never came to our aid? and Germany defeated us and then never bothered with further territorial expansion?" Reflects the UK political position from Poland (1939) to Barbarossa (June 1941), a period of political balance that didn't last very long.
Relatively unread today. (Current Amazon rank: 450,000]
[b:The Man in the High Castle|216363|The Man in the High Castle|Philip K. Dick|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347388495s/216363.jpg|2398287], current Amazon rank, 15,000 = a copy a day?
[b:Fatherland|56842|Fatherland|Robert Harris|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1261912137s/56842.jpg|405136], current Amazon rank 42,000, = a copy every 2 days?
PKD's Man in the High Castle evokes the psychological changes and constant rumination on culture that a Japanese victory would bring.
Fatherland at least tries to deal with how atrocity / moral outrage might affect uncoming detente. (and recognizes the USSR/Nazi peace was pretty unstable-- Hitler had written of his plans to go east in Mein Kampf/1923).
Has some merit in twist of plot and accuracy of moral dilemma under occupation.
Not horrible written, overall, but doesn't really recommend Deighton in future, even at 4.99. (=current ebook pricing of Deighton's literary heirs)