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An Officer and a Spy

An Officer and a Spy

Paperback

By (author) Robert Harris

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  • Publisher: Hutchinson
  • Format: Paperback | 496 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 232mm x 42mm | 720g
  • Publication date: 10 October 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0091944562
  • ISBN 13: 9780091944568
  • Sales rank: 4,653

Product description

From the bestselling author of Fatherland, this is a gripping historical thriller in which the hunter becomes the hunted. January 1895. On a freezing morning in the heart of Paris, an army officer, Georges Picquart, witnesses a convicted spy, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, being publicly humiliated in front of twenty thousand spectators baying 'Death to the Jew!' The officer is rewarded with promotion: Picquart is made the French army's youngest colonel and put in command of 'the Statistical Section' - the shadowy intelligence unit that tracked down Dreyfus. The spy, meanwhile, is given a punishment of medieval cruelty: Dreyfus is shipped off to a lifetime of solitary confinement on Devil's Island - unable to speak to anyone, not even his guards, his case seems closed forever. But gradually Picquart comes to believe there is something rotten at the heart of the Statistical Section. When he discovers another German spy operating on French soil, his superiors are oddly reluctant to pursue it. Despite official warnings, Picquart persists, and soon the officer and the spy are in the same predicament...Narrated by Picquart, An Officer and a Spy is a compelling recreation of a scandal that became the most famous miscarriage of justice in history. Compelling, too, are the echoes for our modern world: an intelligence agency gone rogue, justice corrupted in the name of national security, a newspaper witch-hunt of a persecuted minority, and the age-old instinct of those in power to cover-up their crimes.

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Author information

Robert Harris is the author of eight bestselling novels: Fatherland, Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii, Imperium, The Ghost, Lustrum and The Fear Index. Several of his books have been filmed, including The Ghost, which was directed by Roman Polanski. His work has been translated into thirty-seven languages. He lives in the village of Kintbury, West Berkshire, with his wife Gill Hornby.

Review quote

"Many readers prize him as our supreme exponent of the "literary" thriller. His novels are not difficult -- they are whizzing page-turners... They also combine masterly suspense and mystery with historical insight and political shrewdness. His latest novel is no exception: it is a cracking read from start to finish... It offers a bravura display of Harris's fictional skills. The first is sureness of historical touch. In both general and specific terms the period comes alive... There is no need to wait for the film: it can scarcely be more exciting than the book." --"Sunday Times""Harris is committed to the belief that you can get at a truth as a novelist that you can't as an historian... and he does give us the look, sensations, sounds and smells as no historian could... it is informative, accomplished and highly enjoyable." --"Evening Standard""The Dreyfus Affair... has now been brilliantly retold by Robert Harris... This is a book about spies and their deceits and the unreasonable demands that are made of them by their hard-to-please political governors. It is 1895 with a strong undercurrent of 2003... The real subject then is espionage and the broader, mutually manipulative relationship between the intelligence "community" and the political class... Along the way, Harris gives us plenty of espionage tradecraft. The eavesdropping, the handwriting analysis, the forgery." --"The Times"