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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Red Inferno: 1945 by Robert Conrad

Genre: Alternate History

Alternate History is one of my favorite genres of literature.  In this genre, the author picks a critical moment in time to change.  And then describes how history would have been different. 

In Red Inferno, the critical moment is near the end of World War II.  The Allied and the Russian Armies are approaching Berlin.  Stalin wants to limit Allied influence in Europe.  He has received covert intelligence about the atomic bomb in development in America.  Stalin sees that he has a window.  If he attacks immediately, and swiftly, he might conquer all of Europe before the atomic bomb is operational.  Thus, his army attacks the American army outside of Berlin.

Conroy weaves a story using multiple characters.  Some are real figures of history, some are fictional.  The novel is a nice easy read.  Each page furthers the plot.  His descriptions of the horror of war are realistic without being overly graphic.  While there are scenes of sex and rape, Conroy has avoided being overly graphic here as well.  In the end, it all hinges on if, when, and where the atomic bomb is used.
This is Conroy's fifth Alternate History novel.   Every one has been an enjoyable read. 

Red Inferno: 1945

Conroy's First novel: 1901

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