An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
Last year I read The Ice King and it wasn’t until I had finished the book that I realised the target audience was the male reader. Now that I can recognise the traits, I immediately cogitated this book as for men. Well, in all honesty it must be fairly obvious considering the first chapter was completely dominated by a military situation which involved a lot of military terms and phrases. I contemplated throwing in the towel and moving onto something more appealing to my female mind (feminists please don’t attack me).
I am glad I continued and endured the first few chapters of words that flew completely over my head, thinking to myself, “I am sure it will all come together”. And come together it did. The story then became fascinating, and I fell whole heartedly into Harris’ mindset, timeframe and location. Thinking about the characters whilst reading and then each time I put the book down I simply couldn’t get enough of when the next crucial revelation was arriving and from where.
The story is set on the Dreyfus Affaire, a true story about a Jew punished for allegedly being a traitor in the French army passing secret information to the Germans by being sent to live in squalid conditions on a remote island near the Faulklands. If you google the story you will discover that Dreyfus was in fact innocent and the story details the discovery of his guiltlessness and the extremes people went to both punish and save him and those around him.
A truly fascinating read that both shocked and taught me about this infamous scandal. I highly recommend this book.