Here, Thayer (Pursuit, 1986; Ringer, 1988) creates a scholarly and believable history of an event that never happened--Hitler's invasion of England. The narrator is Lt. Col. Jack Royce, aide-de-camp to General Wilson Clay, commander of the American forces in the United Kingdom, the man charged with defense of the Kentish Shore at a time when British intelligence expects the Germans to invade from the Low Countries rather than from France and to attack England's eastern coast rather than southern. The story assumes that Hitler correctly read the desperate state of the English in the early years of the war, that British air power had ceased to exist, and that the dictator had decided not to attack the Soviet Union. Readers are unlikely to have difficulties with those assumptions. Readers will have greater difficulty not substituting Dwight Eisenhower for General Wilson Clay--particularly since Ike does not appear anywhere and since General Clay is a politically savvy, affable genius at organization who carries on an open flirtation with a beautiful aristocrat. Thousands of well-researched details contribute to the authenticity of the tales told by Col. Royce of the massive deception staged by the Germans, the initial collapse of defending forces in the face of the overwhelming number of invading Germans, the quirky heroism of the outraged people of Kent, and the agony of a general whose plans fall completely apart, forcing him to consider use of the most horrible weapon of the time. Exceptionally entertaining and provocative. Col. Royce's educated, witty observations flawlessly keep Thayer's bogus events as real as D-day.