The Darkest Hour (Paperback)

A Novel

By Tony Schumacher

William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062339379, 464pp.

Publication Date: June 16, 2015

List Price: 14.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A crackling, highly imaginative thriller debut in the vein of W.E.B. Griffin and Philip Kerr, set in German-occupied London at the close of World War II, in which a hardened British detective jeopardizes his own life to save an innocent soul and achieve the impossible—redemption.

London, 1946. The Nazis have conquered the British, and now occupy Great Britain, using brutality and fear to control its citizens. John Henry Rossett, a decorated British war hero and former police sergeant, has been reassigned to the Office of Jewish Affairs. He now answers to the SS, one of the most powerful and terrifying organizations in the Third Reich.

Rossett is a man accustomed to obeying commands, but he’s now assigned a job he did not ask for—and cannot refuse: rounding up Jews for deportation, including men and women he’s known his whole life. But they are not the only victims, for the war took Rossett’s wife and son, and shattered his own humanity.

Then he finds Jacob, a young Jewish child, hiding in an abandoned building, who touches something in Rossett that he thought was long dead.

Determined to save the innocent boy, Rossett takes him on the run, with the Nazis in pursuit. But they are not the only hunters following his trail. The Royalist Resistance and the Communists want him, too. Each faction has its own agenda, and Rossett will soon learn that none of them can be trusted . . . and all of them are deadly. 

About the Author

Tony Schumacher is a native of Liverpool, England. He is the author of The Darkest Hour and The British Lion, and was a finalist for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History in 2016. He has written for The Guardian and the Huffington Post, and he is a regular contributor to BBC Radio and London's LBC Radio. He has been a policeman, stand-up comedian, bouncer, jeweler, taxi driver, perfume salesman, actor, and garbage collector, among others. He currently lives outside Liverpool.

Praise For The Darkest Hour: A Novel

“Schumacher’s assured and atmospheric writing make this a memorable novel. . . . But it’s the characters in The Darkest Hour-from the scene-stealing child to the SS secretary whose double (triple?) agent duties are provoking an identity crisis-who make the reader care what happens.”
— Wall Street Journal

“A stunning debut… The action never stops, as John discovers he can no longer trust his friends. Everyone he knows would give him and the boy up in an instant to save their own hides. . . . A brilliant work for the history and thriller fan.”
— Suspense Magazine

“A well-written adventure.”
— St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“A fast-paced roller-coaster journey of twists and turns. . . . Schumacher has created a complex character in Rossett, an emotionally damaged man who trusts no one and cares for nothing. This is a spellbinding, exciting, suspenseful novel. . . . [A] real page-turner.”
— Historical Novel Society

The Darkest Hour is an alternate history, a psychological study, and a thriller all rolled into one fantastic book. . . . A plat that is action-packed and gripping.”
— Crimespree Magazine

“The Darkest Hour kicks into overdrive, morphing from a bleak tale of what-might-have-been into a high-adrenaline thriller. . . . Each cliffhanger chapter moves Rossett from the frying pan into a fire. . . . It’s an exhilarating roller-coaster ride.”
— Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“A powerful tale of corrosive suspicion and electrifying danger. . . . The Darkest Hour is an exciting and breathtakingly plausible first novel brimming with suspense and starring a superbly-drawn cast of characters. . . . A cleverly nuanced and convincing thriller.”
— Lancaster Evening News (UK)