Taut, gripping Glasgow thriller
almost exactly as it was. Which, given what took place there, might be considered strange. Even a little macabre. So what exactly had happened, just two days before Christmas in 1944?
Ever since the Devizes debacle, its ringleaders had been looking for a “mole” and in Rosterg – an older and vocally anti-Hitler fellow prisoner – they believed they’d found him. For an entire night, he was beaten, tortured and finally strangled under the gaze of around 100 men. Among those observers – to his shame and confusion – is my creation, Hartmann.
IN the end, whose side is he on? At
the death, can he find the courage
to finally make that choice between
what he is and what a system wants
him to be? Whether people read this book or not (and I hope they do!), I urge everyone to find the time to visit this extraordinary, atmospheric place.
And if you go, try to imagine 4,000 men huddled behind its wire; see if you can ghost up the sound of patriotic German hymns or the cries of “Heil Hitler” as the crows circle in the pine trees and the sad, lifeless body of Rosterg is carted away under a sheet.
If you do, there might be another wonderful record from that summer of 1968 which suddenly seems appropriate: I Say a Little Prayer by Aretha Franklin.