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December '41: A World War II Thriller    by William Martin order for
December '41
by William Martin
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

William Martin's December '41: A World War II Thriller opens on US President Franklin Roosevelt's December 8th declaration of war the day after Pearl Harbor. Amongst all those listening across the country is a Nazi assassin in Los Angeles, 'planning the most daring act of the age.' His name is Martin Browning and he intends to shoot FDR as he lights the national Christmas tree.

Of course we know that didn't happen but who will foil the plot? Read on. Next we meet young Hollywood script reader Kevin Cusack, who moonlights spying on the German American Bund for the LA Jewish Community Committee and the FBI. He's attracted to co-worker Sally Drake, a Commie's daughter. Then there's wannabe actress Vivian Hopewell, who's hired by Browning to play his wife, and then falls for him.

Kevin has been working with FBI Agent Frank Carter, who warns him that LAPD Detective Bobby O'Hara has it in for him. Kevin and Sally end up on the same train East as Browning and Vivian, while O'Hara in LA identifies Kevin as a murder suspect. The trip east turns out to be quite the thrill ride, though Kevin doesn't manage to stay on board all the way.

All parties converge on Washington where FDR has a surprise guest for the tree lighting - Winston Churchill! On the run from police and FBI (who suspect he's a double agent), Kevin is the only one who can stop assassinations that would change world history.

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