Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"Then We Take Berlin"

John Lawton's novels include Second Violin, Flesh Wounds, and Bluffing Mr. Churchill. His thriller Black Out won a WH Smith Fresh Talent Award, A Little White Death was named a New York Times notable book, and A Lily of the Field was named one of the best thrillers of the year by Marilyn Stasio of the New York Times.

Lawton applied the Page 69 Test to his latest novel, Then We Take Berlin, and reported the following:
Unless I am much mistaken, this is the scene in Then We Take Berlin where my hero (18-year-old Joe Wilderness) is taken for cocktails at the Ritz Hotel, London on VE Night, by his step-grandmother, the vivacious, utterly amoral Merle. They see off a prissy waiter, play a little havoc with the expectations of the English class system.

London celebrates, a conga runs length of Piccadilly, the King appears on the balcony to wave to the crowd, soldiers strip off their uniforms and the Royal Parks blaze with bonfires.

Merle takes Joe home and seduces him. So, yes, it is in no way unrepresentative of the book as a whole. It is Europe after the shooting stops, and then ... Europe after the party stops ... a Europe of starvation, greed and rampant opportunism. The World turned upside down.
Learn more about the book and author at John Lawton's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue