Wednesday 22 February 2017

An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

Alfred Dreyfus is a young Jewish officer convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil’s Island, in Paris in 1895. Georges Picquart firmly believes in Dreyfus’s guilt. But then Picquart stumbles on information that leads him to suspect that there is still a spy at large in the French military.

This is the story of the Dreyfus scandal that mesmerized the world at the turn of the twentieth century.

Robert Harris has written so many books. Nine according to Goodreads (Pompeii…Enigma - there you go). We picked this one for a road trip to George - about 11 hours in the car. And it was fantastic for that - a great length, and exciting and dramatic, suitable for both me and my husband.

But a little long winded for tired old me, dozing off in the front seat. Perhaps, because I had just finished Conclave (also by Harris), which was concise, racily paced and as sharp as the knives the papacy used to stab each other in the back, this one fell a little flat for me.

Don’t let that stop you, however. The intricate details, clever plot and vivid scenes (you can watch the movie in your head as the narrator reads the audible version) were a highlight, and I should have read this book years ago, and paid it more attention on the long road trip.

3 stars

ISBN: 9780385349581

You may also enjoy Conclave by the same author, or The Information Officer by Mark Mills.

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