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Hugh Legat is a rising star of the British diplomatic service, serving at 10 Downing Street as a private secretary to the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain. Paul von Hartmann is on the staff of the German Foreign Office - and secretly a member of the anti-Hitler resistance. The two men were friends at Oxford in the 1920s but have not been in contact since. Now, when Hugh flies with Chamberlain from London to Munich, and Hartmann travels on Hitler's train overnight from Berlin, their paths are set on a disastrous collision course. And once again, Robert Harris gives us actual events of historical importance - here are Hitler, Chamberlain, Mussolini, Daladier - at the heart of an electrifying, pause-resisting novel.
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By Elizabeth on 01-25-18
Fascinating history...decent novel
Nice prelude to the recent portrait of Churchill in The Darkest Hour—how the policy of appeasement made sense to some historical actors at the time. Harris is so talented at weaving a well researched historical narrative with fictional elements. The fiction—in terms of character development and personal plot lines—is however weaker than his efforts in the Cicero trilogy, Ghost Writer and Fatherland. If undecided, I would try those first. But this one still worth the credit.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
By Jean on 01-29-18
I have always enjoyed books by Robert Harris. I particularly enjoyed reading his Imperium Trilogy about Cicero. Harris is a master of historical novels.
Munich is the German City where British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain met with Adolf Hitler in September 1938 in a desperate attempt to preserve peace in Europe. This meeting is the focal point of this book. The meeting was to discuss Hitler’s demands that the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia be handed over to Germany. Harris used two fictional characters: one English, Hugh Leget; one German, Paul Von Hartmann. The two had been friends while attending Oxford and now serve as aides to the real-life senior diplomats.
The book is well written and researched. Harris is a master at weaving fictional characters into a historical situation so the reader is able to develop a personal understanding of the event. The characters are interesting and the plot is clever. Harris takes his time developing the story, but then it takes off at a rapid pace. I was sad when the story ended. I wanted it to continue. I guess I got carried away with the storyline. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and highly recommend it.
The book is just over nine and a half hours. David Rintout does a good job narrating the book. Rintout is a Scottish stage and television actor and audiobook narrator.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful