Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Statement

Pierre Brossard chose the wrong side in World War II. He was a Nazi collaborator and was responsible for the murder of at least fourteen Jewish people. He has been on the run for decades, helped out by a shady association of Catholic clergy who see no problem with helping out a mass murderer because, "the Church's law of asylum supersedes...the laws of the civil authority."
But now someone is on Pierre's tail. Driving up a isolated road, Pierre is waylaid by an assassin. But Pierre is too canny and shoots the killer first. He then flees to his Catholic refuge.
But this murder brings to the front the question of Pierre's real character. All along, the church claimed to believe that Pierre was truly repentant of his war crimes. But now that he has killed again, doubt arises and the church moves to distance itself from him. The word goes out and Pierre finds that he is no longer as welcome at his old haunts as he used to be.
Meanwhile, the police are actively involved in tracking Pierre down after decades of letting it slide. His face is in the newspapers and he is running for his life. facing down and killing a second man who came gunning for him. But the question he needs to ask himself and fails to do is how these killers know his routine and the locations of his hiding places. Because, although the killers want the world to believe Pierre is being hunted by Jewish avengers, this is not the case at all. Even though that is what Pierre fervently believes, his guilty conscience prevents him from seeing the simple truth.

This was an OK read. I found it a bit dull, to be honest.  I also found the ending unsatisfying.

For another review, see https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/brian-moore/the-statement/.

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