The Windsor Faction

Pegasus. Sept. 2013. 368p. ISBN 9781605984780. $25.95. F
This alternate history fails to live up to its intriguing premise: What if Wallis Simpson had died in 1936, leaving Edward no reason to abdicate? In it, Edward becomes king and is bullied by his advisers, while secretly taking steps toward peace with Hitler. Meanwhile, readers are introduced to Cynthia Kirkpatrick, who moves back to London from Ceylon and finds herself drawn into the orbit of charismatic American diplomat Tyler Kent. Cynthia isn't sure if Tyler is pursuing her because of her work at a literary magazine, her circle of friends, or something far more sinister. And how might Tyler's agenda align with the king's?
VERDICT Taylor (nominated for the Man Booker Prize for Derby Day) expends a great deal of effort creating elaborate scenes and multiple narrators, leaving the plot to limp on without much guidance. Even ardent alt-history fans may lose interest before the denouement.
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