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It is the late 1930s, and young Christopher and his family are struggling against the rise of Nazi totalitarianism in Berlin. As he wrestles with a doomed love affair, he bears witness to an unspeakable atrocity committed by a remorseless SS officer.
memories. Christopher had had no intention of doing what he did half a second later, no inkling, even, that he was going to do it. As if someone else were using his body, without forethought, without emotion, Christopher picked Stutzer up and threw him over the side of the ship. Stutzer weighed so little that Christopher half expected that he would drift on the wind like a big insect. Instead he fell like the bag of bones that he was, white towels fluttering away in the night, and made a
did not want to do something, he did not do it. He did not make a fuss. He simply refused, and in such moments he was immovable. This was one of those moments. Hubbard said, “What else, Paul?” “You know what else, Papa. Rima. How can I leave Rima to Stutzer?” “Rima?” “Alexa. If she doesn’t deliver the manuscript, she’ll be sent to a camp. Her father, too. She was promised by you and me that she could give him the original, that we would photograph it first and then hand it over to her. We
cake.” Both men knew that every room in the house was wired. Microphones were hidden in the table, in the orange tree, in the fichus in the far corner. Yuri may well have assumed that one was hidden under Christopher’s clothes. Christopher said, “Is it possible to go for a walk?” “We’ll see. Usually there’s no objection, but usually I have no one from outside to talk to like today. The men in brown are all over the place with their shotguns, and everyone knows I certainly have no wish to
laughter faded. Hubbard’s frisky American knock, shave-and-a-haircut-two-bits, sounded. She turned the key and let him and O. G. in. Hubbard gave her a searching look. She was distraught, head thrown back, eyes red, throat ligaments taut. In earlier days he would have smiled at her, but he had long since learned how much she disliked this American reassurance when there was nothing to smile about, so he kept his teeth beneath his lip. O. G. locked the door, then poured scotch whisky from a
rose to his feet, turned his back, gripped the back of the chair with whitened knuckles, and faced the blank wall. For a long moment he seemed to be gazing through a non-existent window. He was subject to sudden attacks of excruciating pain—the nerves down the right side of his body had been damaged by the grenade that almost killed him—and Christopher realized that he was having a seizure now. Patchen was hiding his face. Rudi lifted his head and watched his master. Then the dog, the blackest,