Munich book review: Master storyteller but not a master of suspense –

Harris brilliantly evokes a sense of place. He clearly has an intimate knowledge of the geography of Number 10 Downing Street and there are vivid descriptions of the increasingly agitated discussions in the run-up to the main event.

At one Cabinet meeting: “Most were smoking. One of the big sash windows overlooking the garden had been opened in an attempt to disperse the fug of cigars and pipes and cigarettes.”

Since Hitler viewed smoking as “decadent”, there is no question of a similar atmosphere pervading when the story moves to Munich, where all parties gather for negotiations in the marble halls of the Führerbau.

Harris has been described as “a literary Alfred Hitchcock” and the quality of writing is uniformly high.

When the secretaries have gone home, their typewriters are “shrouded for the night like the cages of sleeping birds” and one member of Chamberlain’s entourage is described as having “a curious, tight-lipped way of speaking, as if he were practising to be a ventriloquist”. 


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