|Plot Summary of Bluffing Mr. Churchill|
Atlantic Monthly Press, Jan 2004, 24.00, 322 pp.
In the spring of 1941, Britain stands alone against the Nazi machine. Though his country remains neutral, American State Department blue blood Calvin Comrack is in London seeking spy Wolfgang Stahl, who until recently was a top aide to Hitler's SS chief Heydrich. When Stahl was exposed as an enemy agent, he fled Germany hoping to hide in the London underground. Comrack needs to obtain whatever Stahl took with him from Germany which happens to be Hitler's invasion plan to end the nonaggression pact with the Soviets.
Comrack learns that police officer Walter Stilton has had contact with the vanished Stahl. He “joins” the extended Stilton family wanting Walter to arrange a meeting with Wolfgang, but finds himself also attracted to his host's daughter police officer Kitty. He competes for her affection with Scotland Yard cop Freddie Troy. However, the rivals become allies in the search for Stahl as the American Embassy disowns Comrack, claiming he is working on his own while the Nazis insist they already have the missing agent.
Freddie Troy, star of several of John Lawton's works that take place in the mid to late 1950s (see OLD FLAMES), is only twenty-fives years old and for much of the novel plays a secondary role. Though not quite a Troy prequel, readers get a glimpse of his early days on the force. The story line is a war time espionage tale rather than a police procedural though the latter is an intricate part of the powerful plot. Using real historical figures, groups, and events to add authenticity, BLUFFING MR. CHURCHILL is a great historical suspense thriller that readers will cherish.
Harriet Klausner, Resident Scholar
|"Politicians, police, military, and diplomats are involved in espionage events leading up to the U.S. involvement in World War II. Mr. Lawton's recurring character, Inspector Troy, along with Wolfgang Stahl,an American spy, Calvin Cormack of the U.S. State Department, and London Special Branch officer, Walter Stilton are the four at the heart of the efforts to give England the advantage in the soon-to-be all-out war with Hitler's Germany.
Sara , Resident Scholar
|"This is the second book in a series about Sergeant Fredrick Troy of Scotland Yard during the war years. It is however a prequel, since the first took place in 1944 and this one takes place in 1941.
A secondary character, Calvin M. Cormack III, is an American handler of a spy in the service of Heydrich. When the spy is discovered, he places his papers and uniform on a faceless body he found in the rubble of his bombed out apartment house in Berlin and escapes to London. Cormack believes he is dead, and it takes the British to bring to his attention the fact that the spy is not dead and the Germans have given him a heroes funeral because the want to quietly find him and keep the secret he has escaped with.
In London, Sergeant Troy is drawn into the story because of a murder of a German agent.
I did not like the style of writing this author used. All his characters sounded the same, all used clipped or choppy sentences. The American, Cormack, is a Virginian, with a Civil War Veteran grandfather and father who are both in politics. He tries to get the speech and slang right but keeps slipping back into British slang and ideas. "
Patg, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Bluffing Mr. Churchill|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 40%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 30%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 20%
Tone of story
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
Time/era of story:
Cloak & Dagger Plotlets:
- stopping a saboteur/spy
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
War-time military intelligence mission?
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Smarter than most other characters
- average physique
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- a moderate amount
The antagonists are:
- Smarter than most other characters
Part of a series?
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- moderately detailed references to deaths
Amount of dialog
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog