Alan Massie has created a very credible and fascinating background for this book - in Bordeaux immediately before and then during the German occupation. The sense of impending doom hangs over the whole society.
I do worry about the central figure, Lannes. Not only is he drawn against his will into the corruption of the collaborationists, but although he and one or two figures are looking towards eventual liberation, I fear he may not make it. Between his incessant smoking and his copious consumption of alcohol at all times of the day, his vital organs may not carry him through the next four years.
The Kindle edition has one annoying trait - within chapters I suspect that changes of scene were marked in the print edition by extra paragraph breaks. These are lost in the Kindle formatting, and so you suddenly find you have jumped to another place and a different set of characters without knowing quite where the transition was made.