An officer and a spy.
Publication year: 2013
Media class: Hardback
Publisher: London : Hutchinson, 2013.
ISBN: 0091944554 9780091944551 (hbk): 18.99
Paris, January 1895. Army officer Georges Picquart witnesses a convicted spy, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, being humiliated in front of 20,000 spectators baying 'Death to the Jew!' The officer is promoted and put in command of shadowy intelligence unit, the Statistical Section. The spy is shipped off to a lifetime of solitary confinement on Devil's Island and his case seems closed forever. But gradually Picquart comes to believe there is something rotten at the heart of the Statistical Section.
No. of reservations: 0
Caterham U3A reading group, marks: 9/10 -- This novel is based on the notorious "Dreyfus Case" when at the end of the 19th century an innocent French staff officer was wrongly convicted of selling military secrets to the Germans, imprisoned under very harsh conditions, and finally exonerated after eleven years. The story is told from the viewpoint of Colonel Picquart: the officer who unearthed the evidence which at last forced the French military establishment to admit its errors. All but one of our members found the book interesting and enjoyable, and admired the author's skill in presenting a complex sequence of events in a comprehensible and very readable way. We agreed that Picquart was portrayed as a man of integrity but not a sympathetic person. Some members had found information about the case from other sources, leading to a discussion about the relationship between fact and fiction. And obvious parallels were drawn between the "cover-up" strategies described in the book and t
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