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"The statement" is an explanatory declaration that is to be pinned to the body of 70-year-old Pierre Brossard, a former officer in the "Milice" that carried out the Vichy government's WW II policy of collaboration with the Nazis, and a known murderer of Jews. This will be done, that is, if Brossard is found first by the underground Jewish group that seeks his death "because they believe he will never be brought to trial," rather than by the officials in the French government who want him captured alive. But Brossard has survived for 40 years on the run, given sanctuary and tacit approval by his country's Catholic Church, and perhaps supported by highly placed collaborators like himself who could no longer be protected should his crimes come to public attention. This brilliant premise is developed with breathtaking skill, as Moore—who has few peers as a lucid explicator of convoluted narrative materials—adroitly shifts his focus among the harried Brossard (as certain of God's forgiveness as he is of his undimmed, murderous anti-Semitism), his various pursuers, and the several clerics, high and low, who have persuaded themselves that "the Church's law of asylum supersedes . . . the laws of the civil authority." The novel's characterizations are deftly etched, its issues are treated with complete fairness, and the suspense is maintained until the last possible moment, when a stunning surprise confronts us on the final page.
Moore here engages Graham Greene and John le Carré on their own ground, producing a haunting, heartpounding literary thriller of which either would be proud. They don't write them any better than this.
"Dazzling...Irresistable from the first page." — The Globe and Mail
"A classic page-turner, fast-paced, riveting, full of terror, tension and a fine play of ideas." — London Free Press
Posted June 12, 2004
Usually a book is much better than the movie that is made from it, but in this case the reverse is true. I was motivated to read the book after I saw the movie, and although the book is good, the movie is far superior. It brings out certain things more and develops the twists in more suspenseful ways. If you have seen the movie, the book will be a disappointment. It ends too abruptly--prematurely, in fact.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.