A new novel by Montreal writer Michael Carin takes readers into British life and politics in the 1930s, and acts as an ominous mirror to events of our own time. The story told by Joffrey Pearson, a translator of German documents in the Foreign Office, traces the appeasement of Nazi Germany. Pearsonœs narrative stays faithful to historic facts until the autumn of 1938. At that point Churchill At Munich becomes an alternate historyœ. An unexpected event removes Neville Chamberlain from Downing Street, and makes Winston Churchill prime minister. As a result, the iron-willed Churchill attends the Munich Conference in place of the arch-appeaser Chamberlain. The ensuing clash between Churchill and Hitler proves spellbinding. To render such a meeting credible involves no small literary talent. Carin succeeds by constructing a plot that puts initial focus on a richly detailed back-story which lends greater and greater trust to the narratorœs voice. By the time Joffrey Pearson accompanies Churchill to his showdown with Hitler, Pearsonœs character has been so humanized as to make his observations wholly believable. Sharing centre stage with Churchill in this novel is Pearsonœs best friend, a notorious British painter named Damon Chadwick. The painter is an unabashed hedonist and homosexual who intriguingly finds fame and fortune in Nazi Germany. Events in his career produce a number of rollicking scenes, including debauchery in a Mayfair opium den and a vernissage in Knightsbridge that can only be described as unique in the annals of art. The manner in which Chadwickœs destiny merges with Churchillœs is not a spoiler I will spill, but it involves an interesting inference about the private life of Adolf Hitler. In the case of a despot who brooks no inhibition in regard to his pursuit of power and penchant for barbarism, this novel assumes he would also act criminally to gratify his personal vices.