Jim's Books

An Officer and a Spy

Robert Harris

An Officer and a Spy
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ISBN: 9780099580881


Paris, 1895: an army officer, Georges Picquart, watches a convicted spy, Alfred Dreyfus, being publicly humiliated in front of a baying crowd.

Dreyfus is exiled for life to Devil's Island; Picquart is promoted to run the intelligence unit that tracked him down.

But when Picquart discovers that secrets are still being handed over to the Germans, he is drawn into a dangerous labyrinth of deceit and corruption that threatens not just his honour but his life.

Reviewed on 29th December 2014

I think I'm becoming more comfortable with not finishing a book. I read 150 pages of this novel before giving up - it's not that it did anything to put me off, more that it didn't do anything to keep me reading. The plot felt like it had barely moved, and yet time seemed t be whizzing past.

The characters did nothing to endear them to me at all - it was almost as if their historical nature meant that they had to be quite boring. Perhaps instead it was an artefact of the first-person presentation, as if the book were being written as a letter rather than a diary, by someone with all sense of imagination drummed out of them.

I admit, I probably could have persevered with this book, and perhaps if it hadn't been the Christmas holidays I may have ploughed on through my commutes over a week or so and got to the end, but there are so many more books to read and when I'm off work I'd rather be reading something riveting (like the next book I read, which had me hooked straight away).

So not a disappointment, just not something that captured my attention. It was worth a go though.

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