A tense historical thriller set in 1938 Europe as the storm clouds gather with Hitler already flexing his territorial muscles, and Chamberlain diplomatically fighting to avert war.
Two Oxford student friends have not laid eyes on each other since their visit to Munich six years before. Both have moved on to their respective careers.
Hugh Legat, a fluent German speaker, is now 3rd Secretary to Prime Minister Chamberlain, and once again heading to Munich, but this time with the British delegation in a last ditch attempt to ward off impending war as Hitler demands the Sudeten territory from Czechoslovakia, which Chamberlain knows is only the start of Hitler’s ambitions.
Hitler’s train, linking up with another containing his ally, Mussolini, is heading in the same direction, with Legat’s old friend, German diplomat Paul von Hartmann in the entourage. Hartmann is a member of a group who are determined to rid Germany of Hitler before he can carry out his German space expansion plans and carries proof to hand over to Legat, if he can arrange the meeting without jeopardising his group or himself.
When Legat is not allowed to go near the meeting, but ordered to stay in his hotel and organise the domestic requirements of his delegation, the tension ratchets up to breaking point and risks must be taken to overcome the obstacles and the old friends can meet.
With a spiteful fellow-, and senior-, Secretary, determined to make things as difficult for Legat as he can, and a SS-Sturmbannfűhrer sniffing suspiciously at Hartmann’s heels, the dangerous mission to hand Legat the proof to give to his PM before talks conclude and agreements are signed, and war averted, the story is as gripping as a python.
Robert Harris, writes beautifully, and his prose must be the envy of many an author and wannabe writer. Top that with a well-researched backdrop and a thrilling plot with plausible characters, Munich must be a winner.
Thanks to PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE, South Africa for this ARC for whom I have given this honest review.
ISBN 9780091959203, Hutchinson Imprint. www.penguin.co.uk
My apologies for the previous erroneous connection of Robert Harris to Stuart Neville, also a fine writer.