What if the U.S. developed the atomic bomb a year earlier, in 1944?
This is the teaser for Gregory Benford's The Berlin Project, a thriller that ticked three of my boxes: nuclear weapons, espionage/military thriller, and alternate history.
Rather than a flight of fancy, Benford crafted this tale around his father-in-law's actual experiences back in the 1930s and 1940s working with and around Leslie Groves, Albert Einstein, Oppenhiemer, Bohr, and the entire cast of real-life Manhattan Project characters.
But back to the premise. Assume that science (and the politics of science) had turned out a bit differently back in the day such that the bomb was ready in '44 instead of '45. How might the Allies have put it to use, if at all? The difference in the science may seem small (and entirely plausible), but the results in wartime - maybe not so much.
The characters (perhaps because they are real) are so vivid and Benford's story is so believable (due to his research and work pulling it all together) that the resulting book is totally enjoyable. And while I could put it down, I couldn't wait to pick it up and finish it.
I highly recommend Gregory Benford's The Berlin Project.
You can read more about Benford at his publisher's website.
"Nothing can be said about writing except when it's bad. When it is good, one can only read and be grateful."
I received no compenstation of any kind for this review.