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Synopsis

This World War I novel is “a mystery as exciting as a good detective story and an extraordinarily vivid account of trench-warfare” (The Sunday Times).

In November 1918, as the Germans are in their final retreat, a British raiding party under fire follows the sound of piano music and stumbles across an eerie scene in a ruined chateau. A German officer lies dead at the keys, next to a beautiful woman, also deceased, in full evening dress. But what makes their discovery especially strange is that the man is the spitting image of G. B. Bretherton, a British officer missing in action.

This tale of mystery and identity, first published in 1930, is not only an authentic account of the brutal conditions at the battlefront, it’s also a remarkable thriller with a twisting, unusual plot that earned it comparisons to John Buchan and the best espionage writers. The Morning Post called it “one of the best of the English war novels”—while Sir John Squire, the influential editor of the London Mercury, went a step further and labeled it “undoubtedly the best.” Eric Ambler, the iconic author of such classics as A Coffin for Dimitrios and Journey into Fear, considered it one of the five best spy novels of all time.

Fans of war stories and suspense novels alike—and readers of modern WWI tales like Robert Olen Butler’s The Star of Istanbul—will find themselves caught up in this lost gem from the Great War era.

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