Thursday, August 04, 2016

Bretherton







Bretherton: Khaki or Field Grey?

By W.F. Morris

Published by Casemate/Open Road, August 2016

A classic, happily now re-published after its debut in 1930 and regarded as a founding giant in the field of espionage/thriller fiction; this is a brilliant read for fans of the genre or for those who simply enjoy fiction about the Great War.

It's November 1918. The Germans are being chased into their final retreat and Captain Gurney takes part in clearing the area of hostile troops. Imagine his shock and bewilderment when he finds, in a chateau, the body of a man whom he recognises instantly, for he knows him well, but now he is dead and dressed in the uniform of a German soldier....what on earth has been happening?

His fellow officer Gerard Bretherton had been listed as missing after being seen to be injured. Why was now he here in the chateau impersonating a German officer?  Or has a German officer been playing a game of double-cross and impersonating him? Who is the woman found dead without a mark on her?

This is just the start of a truly gripping story, graphically describing the horror, physical and emotional trauma of war and the devastation it causes to those fighting in it and their loved ones.. Narrated initially from the viewpoint of Captain Gurney, then jumping back a little chronologically to recount events from Bretherton's viewpoint, I found this to be a compelling story indeed, and well worth reading.

Full marks to the publisher for making this title available once again for a new generation of readers.


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