April, 1945. Nazi Germany is in its final days. To the west, the Allied invasion forces advance towards the Elbe, while in the east, Soviet forces slowly head towards Berlin.

And Winston Churchill is not pleased. Triumph

Crossing the Atlantic, he argues with Roosevelt, a Roosevelt who's been feeling much better since he stopped smoking two years previous. To Churchill, the Soviets must not be allowed to take Berlin, for it would leave most of Europe under their control and only set up the next war - with them. FDR, however, feels capturing Berlin would not be worth the effort - or the lives - it would cost.

So returning from America, a disappointed Churchill sets in motion "Operation Broadsword..."

...the secret plan to assassinate Stalin.


This was both an excellent and a disappointing book.

Excellent, because Bova has researched his target period well. The assassination plan makes sense, and the initial results of his POD seem both reasonable and - if you can use this term when describing an alternate history - inevitable.

Disappointing, however, because after all that setup, we don't get to see what the final results of this all are.

The story starts on April 1st (as do the divergent events) and ends, only a month later, on April 30th just after the fall of Berlin, with Stalin dead, Khrushchev and Molotov in power in Moscow, and Roosevelt planning an atomic Pax Americana. Now, obviously this is a world that could diverge massively from our own, but the...story...just...stops!

This is terribly frustrating.

Still, this definitely a book worth reading and, who knows, maybe Bova will come down with a case of series-itus (why not, most other authors have...) and we'll get a sequel. I'd sure like to read that.