I must admit that I much prefer first world war 'fiction' (as in 'Birdsong' or the 'Regeneration Trilogy') to factual events and when I bought this book I made the mistake in thinking that's what I was getting.However,I was very pleasantly surprised. The story of the 'four Englishmen of Villeret' and their untimely betrayal(by whom?) makes gripping reading.I found myself concerned for the soldiers and villagers and the circumstances in which they found themselves and although I was aware of the fate that befell them, the ending was not ruined. This due to Ben MacIntyre's painstaking research and interviews with the descendents of all involved in 1916. He puts forward theories of the locals as well as his own, but ultimately the reader is left to make their own assumptions as to 'whodunnit?'