An “adventurous . . . intelligent . . . ingenious” novel of crime and punishment in pre–World War II London (V. S. Pritchett).
During a demonstration in Hyde Park, Communist bus driver Jim Drover acts on instinct to protect his wife by stabbing to death the policeman set to strike her down. Sentenced to hang—whether as a martyr, tool, or murderer—Drover accepts his lot, unaware that the ramifications for the crime, and the battle for his reprieve, are inflaming political unrest in an increasingly divided city. But Drover’s single, impulsive act is also upending the lives of the people he loves and trusts. Caught in a quicksand of desperation, sexual betrayal, and guilt, they will not only play a part in Drover’s fate, but they’ll become agents—both unwitting and calculated—of their own fates as well.
Turning the traditional narrative of the police procedural, domestic drama, and political thriller on its head, It’s a Battlefield was described by Graham Greene himself as “a panoramic novel of London,” one without heroes and villains, only “the injustice of man’s justice.”