Thrilling And Tense
Munich by Robert Harris is a marvellous historical political thriller that gripped me from the start. It is a work of fiction but very much grounded in fact as it surrounds the Munich Agreement of September 1938, and the infamous ‘peace for our time’ from Chamberlain.
On the surface all is polite and everyone appears to be working towards peace but underneath there lurks tension and suspicion. Hitler was a man no one should trust. With hindsight we can easily see this, but would it have been so clear at the time?
Simmering away underneath it all is another event, just as important. We read with baited breath to see the outcome.
Old friends from Oxford, one German and one English, meet up in Munich to swap more than just old stories.
Fascinating On Both Sides
V2: A Novel Of World War II by Robert Harris is a fascinating historical novel set over just four days in November 1944.
Robert Harris has used his knowledge to create a fictional story set around Germany’s V2 missiles. The novel is written from both the German and English point of view with alternating chapters. The reader sees life in London, Oxfordshire, the Netherlands and recently occupied Europe. It is a marvellous novel enabling the reader to understand some of the complexities of war.
There is the theme of trust – remembering that ‘loose lips sink ships’, war work was classified. The reader witnesses lies being told to both sides in order to keep up morale. By November 1944 the Nazis were in retreat but no one would admit this for fear of imprisonment or worse.
Not all Germans were Nazis. Those who were not, had to tread very carefully.