This is my review of the book “an Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris” which I have read recently. Up to now I have enjoyed all of Robert's books and this one did not disappoint, though it was a little slow to start with, but it quickly made up for this towards the end.
But let us move to what the story is about. It is set in 1890's France, and a certain Captain Alfred Dreyfus is convicted of spying. The twenty thousand spectators call for his death crying 'Death to the Jew'.
George Picquart, is witness to this as an army officer. He is then promoted to colonel and put in charge of the “Statistical Section” - the undercover spy and intelligence section.
As George progresses with his job, he uncovers another spy operating. Could there really have been two spies, or had Dreyfus somehow been framed. Gradually things go from good to bad, the more George uncovers. This is all the more compelling as it is a recreation of the scandal that became one of the most famous miscarriages of justice in modern times.
Though this is about an event that took place over 100 years ago, the comparison with the present day is frightening – justice corrupted in the name of national security and intelligence agencies covering up the truth, and perverting the course of justice. A small group of people standing up for what they believe in truth and justice.
Moving back to the book Robert manages to tell the story in a manor that is generally gripping, exciting and enjoyable. Made all the more so by the historical element to the narrative.
This was an enjoyable book and a good read. This was book 27 week 19 fiction 24 (audio book 5) non fiction 3.
Fatherland by Robert Harris
This is my review of the book Fatherland by Robert Harris, which I have recently read. I was inspired to read this as it was cited in the book Dominion by C J Sansom. Though I have read the book before, it was a number of years ago, so could not properly remember it.
Like Dominion, the central theme of the book, is that Nazi Germany was not defeated in 1945, but carried on. Here Hitler is coming up to his 75th Birthday. Berlin is the capital city and has been rebuilt to include a massive Great Hall, that is 1000 feet high and can hold 150,000 people.
The story is of a policeman March trying to investigate the mystery of a naked body of an old man that has been found in the outskirts of Berlin.
During the course of this investigation March uncovers a much deeper mystery, that goes right back to the start of the 1940's. He finds that this leads right to the centre of power.
The world that Robert has created for this story is totally believable, and sadly very horrific once the respectable skin has been peeled away. Made even more so when at the end of the book one finds out that the majority of historical documents that are cited, do actually exist and do record decisions that were actually made at the time.
With the merging together of Europe, this is a history that many would like us to if not forget, certainly not spend too much time investigating. I find it had to imagine how one human could treat another in such away. I am sure we treat our cattle better than what went on in the 1940's.
An interesting book, starts off very enjoyable, and gradually becomes more and more challenging as fiction merges with horrific fact, but I am pleased I read it again. This was book 4 week 2 – fiction 4 (0 on audio) non fiction 0
Enigma by Robert Harris
_ This was a book that we got as a special offer when buying the Fear Index, and having enjoyed that so much could not resist reading this book as it was just sitting their waiting to be read. Some time ago I had seen the film that was based on the book so I had a rough idea of the plot, but it was still a refreshingly good read.
It is all about life at Bletchley Park and the code breakers trying to crack the latest variant of the Enigma code, which is being used to control the German U-boat threat to the allied convoys crossing the Atlantic.
Add to this the suspicion that there is a spy in the midst of the code breakers together with the fact that our hero Tom Jericho's girlfriend Claire Romilly has disappeared and there are all the ingredients for a fantastic thriller. Week 22 written book 18 audio book 7 – Total 25
_ This is a book that is very hard to review without giving the plot away, but I can say it is about artificial intelligence, hedge funds, the odd murder, artists, CERN, Geneva and Fear.
Robert Harris is able to paint a fantastic picture in words, just bringing the whole mystery to life and making it oh so hard to book the book down. Even more so that sometime relatively soon I will read the book again this time looking for the clues that I may have missed.
A very good read and the quote on the sleeve cover from the Sunday Times 'Truly thrilling' sort of sums it up perfectly. A very enjoyable book as book 21 week 20
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.