9780345426246 / 034542624X

Hart's War


Publisher:Ballantine Books



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About the book:

Year after year the novels of John Katzenbach have earned acclaim from across the country. "Mesmerizing" announces The New York Times . . . "gripping" trumpets The Washington Post Book World . . . "compelling" raves the San Francisco Chronicle. Now, Katzenbach has written his most powerful novel yetan unforgettable courtroom drama of heroism and sacrifice, honor and betrayal that ignites within the explosive confines of a World War II prisoner of war camp.

Life isn't easy when you should have died, recalls Second Lieutenant Tommy Hart, the navigator of a B-25 who was shot out of the sky in 1942. Hartburdened with guilt as the only surviving member of his crewbecomes just another kriegie ("war captured") at the fiercely guarded Stalag Luft 13 in Bavaria. But routine comes to a halt with the arrival of a new prisoner: First Lieutenant Lincoln Scott, an African American Tuskegee airman who instantly becomes the target of contempt from his fellow soldiers. His most notable adversary is Vincent Bedford, a decorated bomber captain from Mississippi. The hatred between the two men as volatile as a grenade ready to be detonated.

When a prisoner is brutally murdered, and all the blood-soaked evidence points to Scott, Hart is tapped to defend the soldier, who steadfastly claims his innocence. Yet from the start, Hart senses he has been chosen merely to make a show of defending the accused, in what is presumed to be an open-and-shut case.

In a trial rife with racial tension and raw conflict, where the lines between ally and enemy blur, there are those with their own secret motivesand a burning passion for a rush to judgment, no matter the cost.

A compellingly authentic portrait of a German prisoner of war camp. Richly layered characters from both sides of the line facing profound questions of conscience and duty. An epic courtroom showdown and stunning twists of plot. From these dramatic elements, Katzenbach creates the most distinguished and riveting novel of his extraordinary career.

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