An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
(Knopf, 2014, 429 pages)
Based on the true story of the Dreyfus affair and told from the point of view of Georges Picquart, Harris gives a fictionalized account of the French scandal. I loved this book, I didn’t know anything about the Dreyfus affair and I purposely didn’t look it up before starting the book. Because of this, it was a real page turner for me and felt like a political thriller. The subject matter still seems relevant today. I highly recommend it.
“Alfred Dreyfus has been convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment on a far-off island, and publicly stripped of his rank. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, an ambitious military officer who believes in Dreyfus’s guilt as staunchly as any member of the public. But when he is promoted to head of the French counter-espionage agency, Picquart finds evidence that a spy still remains at large in the military—indicating that Dreyfus is innocent. As evidence of the most malignant deceit mounts and spirals inexorably toward the uppermost levels of government, Picquart is compelled to question not only the case against Dreyfus but also his most deeply held beliefs about his country, and about himself.”