'it invites questions that can have only uncomfortable answers' The Scotsman.
'the story has a doomy propulsion, with its elegant flashbacks and adumbrations, vivid, economical scene-setting, and fascinating relationships at its heart ... blackly brilliant' Guardian.
'The most powerful novel I have read this year' Michael Holroyd.
'A powerful short novel, taking us from Buchenwald and Vietnam to Algeria, and leading to the conclusion that those who suffer go on to cause most suffering' New Statesman.
'This examination of the corrosive effect of torture as practised by officers of the French army during the Algerian war is brilliantly and movingly done' Allan Massie.
'an unsparing examination of how violence begets violence' The Independent.
'As elegant as a knife blade and as deadly, this shocking and magnificent novella explores the evil men do' Irish Times.
'uncomfortable and illuminating' Financial Times.
From the Inside Flap
He was interned at Buchenwald during the German occupation and imprisoned by the Vietnamese when France's armies in the Far East collapsed. Now Capitaine Degorce is an interrogator himself, and the only peace he can find is in the presence of Tahar, a captive commander in the very organization the is charged with eliminating. But his confessor is no saint: Tahar stands accused of indiscriminate murder. Lieutenant Andreani - who served with Degorce in Vietnam and revels in his new role as executioner - is determined to see a noose around his neck. This is Algeria, 1957. Blood, sand, dust, heat - perhaps the bitterest colonial conflict of the last century. Degorce will learn that in times of war, no matter what a man has suffered in his past, there is no limit to the cruelty he is capable of.