After serving as the minister of war’s observer at Dreyfus’ military trial, Picquart is promoted to lead the army’s espionage unit. Picquart immerses himself in the dark work and quickly discovers evidence of another soldier leaking information to the German attaché. When he’s denied permission to launch a sting operation, Picquart joins forces with a Sûreté (police) detective to gather evidence through an unofficial surveillance scheme. Convinced that the secret evidence that convicted Dreyfus implicates his current target instead, Picquart investigates further and finds a conspiracy originating in the army’s top ranks. In the anti-Semitic climate of this pivotal period in French society, Picquart’s insistence that Dreyfus “the Jew” may be innocent creates dangerous, powerful enemies.
Harris combats the predictability that can haunt fictional accounts of well-known events by teasing out the tale through Picquart’s training in espionage and investigation, his unsanctioned detecting, and the complex intrigues he navigates to secure a reexamination of Dreyfus’ case. Great for fans of Ken Follett, John le Carré, Louis Bayard, Caleb Carr, and Martin Cruz Smith, all of whom also portray historical intrigues and investigations with intricate detail and literary skill. Also try Jason Matthews’ recently published Red Sparrow (2013). --Christine Tran Review "Many readers prize him as our supreme exponent of the “literary” thriller. His novels are not difficult -- they are whizzing page-turners…
They also combine masterly suspense and mystery with historical insight and political shrewdness. His latest novel is no exception: it is a cracking read from start to finish… It offers a bravura display of Harris’s fictional skills. The first is sureness of historical touch. In both general and specific terms the period comes alive… There is no need to wait for the film: it can scarcely be more exciting than the book." --Sunday Times
"Harris is committed to the belief that you can get at a truth as a novelist that you can’t as an historian… and he does give us the look, sensations, sounds and smells as no historian could… it is informative, accomplished and highly enjoyable." --Evening Standard
"The Dreyfus Affair… has now been brilliantly retold by Robert Harris… This is a book about spies and their deceits and the unreasonable demands that are made of them by their hard-to-please political governors. It is 1895 with a strong undercurrent of 2003… The real subject then is espionage and the broader, mutually manipulative relationship between the intelligence “community” and the political class… Along the way, Harris gives us plenty of espionage tradecraft. The eavesdropping, the handwriting analysis, the forgery." --The Times