Monday, 28 July 2014
I'd been thinking that Robert Harris had rather gone off the boil. After gripping historical thrillers like Enigma and Fatherland, my interest waned after Pompeii and Imperium and I gave up on him after The Ghost which was nothing more than a mildly-enjoyable beach read.
But here he is back on top form, retelling the story of the Dreyfus scandal ... political machinations, establishment lies and a very dodgy dossier.
I thought I knew the story - but the fascination is in the paper trail, the sexed-up documents and wilful cover-up that made this one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in modern history.
None of the characters, not even the most minor, is wholly fictional - promises Harris - and almost all of what occurs, at least in some form, actually happened in real life.
He brings history jumping off the page - political corruption and the stench of corruption rising out of the Paris sewers like a putrid gas.
It's 10pm ... I really do need to put it down and make some dinner!