An Officer and a Spy

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9780091944551: An Officer and a Spy

"What Part did I play in his ruin?" A new historical thriller from Robert Harris.

Paris. 1895. On a freezing January morning, the Jewish army officer, Alfred Dreyfus, is stripped of his rank in front of a baying crowd of 20,000, and deported for life to Devil’s Island.
   
Among those watching his humiliation is a high-flying intelligence officer, the clever and resourceful Georges Picquart, whose dangerous love affairs leave him wide open to blackmail.

A few months later, Picquart discovers the Germans still have a spy operating in France. He mounts a sophisticated surveillance operation to trap the traitor. But the results are far more alarming than he ever expected, opening up a trail of corruption and deceit that leads him all the way to the highest ranks of the French army and government.

Now, in a vividly-written secret memoir kept under lock and key for more than 100 years, Picquart brings to life the Paris of the 1890s and tells the true story of a scandal that mesmerised the world.

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Review:

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, February 2014: A spy thriller and psychological examination, Robert Harris’s An Officer and a Spy looks at the infamous Dreyfus affair through the personage of a functionary-turned-whistle-blower. It’s Paris, 1895. A Jewish army officer, Alfred Dreyfus, has been convicted of treason and is imprisoned on Devil’s Island; he has been publicly humiliated, bound in chains, banished to solitary confinement. But was he really a spy for Germany--or was his fate sealed because he was a Jew in an anti-Semitic time and place? Slowly, the petit bureaucrat Georges Picquart begins to suspect that Dreyfus--portrayed here mostly through heart-wrenching real-life letters he wrote from prison to his beloved family--has been scapegoated. As Picquart amasses more and more evidence about Dreyfus, he also must come to terms with some of his own behaviors and attitudes. Still, for all its delicious detail about the mores of Belle Epoque Paris, both social and political, this novel is also one for the ages, or at least for the ages in which powerful intelligence agencies, government surveillance and cover-ups are worrisomely becoming the norm. --Sara Nelson

About the Author:

ROBERT HARRIS is one of Britain's most famous writers of thriller novels and gripping historical fiction. He is the author of eight bestselling historical and contemporary thrillers: Archangel, Enigma, Fatherland, The Fear Index, The Ghost, Imperium, Lustrum and Pompeii, all of which were worldwide bestsellers. His most recent bestselling thriller, The Fear Index, was shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, for best thriller of the year, at the 2012 Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards.
   Robert Harris has worked with international film director Roman Polanski to create the Golden Globe winning film The Ghost Writer, starring Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor. Enigma was adapted into an award-winning film starring Kate Winslet and Tom Hollander. His work has been translated into thirty-three languages. He was born in Nottingham in 1957 and is a graduate of Cambridge University. He worked as a reporter on the BBC's Newsnight and Panorama programmes, before becoming Political Editor of the Observer in 1987, and then a columnist on the Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph. In 2003 he was named Columnist of the Year in the British Press Awards. He lives near Hungerford in Berkshire with his wife and their four children.

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