Robert Conroy, Author . Ballantine $14.95 (432p) ISBN 978-0-345-49479-5

At the start of Conroy's compelling third alternate history (after 1901 and 1862 ), military extremists, honor bound by the Japanese code of Bushido, kidnap Emperor Hirohito hours before he's set to announce his country's formal surrender in the aftermath of the atom bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Led by aging samurai and fanatical army general Korechika Anami, the new regime manipulates President Truman into invading the Japanese home islands. The massive offensive (with ground forces led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur) meets stiff resistance, including kamikaze attacks and the use of POWs as human shields. But as the U.S. finds itself slowly sinking into a nightmarish military quagmire, two improbable heroes chart a path to victory. Conroy explores the carnage of war through numerous viewpoints (a naïve American soldier, an escaped POW, a Japanese-American operative, the deposed emperor, etc.) with moving and thought-provoking results. For another take on the same scenario, see Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson's MacArthur's War: A Novel of the Invasion of Japan (Reviews, Mar. 26). (May 29)

Reviewed on: 04/16/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 351 pages - 978-0-345-50043-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-59859-526-0
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