An Officer and a Spy

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An Officer and a Spy
Hardcover edition
Author Robert Harris
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Thriller, historical fiction
Publisher Hutchinson
Publication date
26 Sept 2013[2]
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 496 pp (first edition, hardback)
ISBN ISBN 0091944554 (first edition, hardback)

An Officer and a Spy is a 2013 historical fiction thriller by the English writer and journalist Robert Harris. It tells the true story of French officer Georges Picquart from 1896-1906, as he struggles to expose the truth about the doctored evidence that sent Alfred Dreyfus to Devil's Island.

Plot summary[edit]

Upon being promoted to run the Statistical Section, the top secret headquarters of French military intelligence, Georges Picquart begins to discover that the evidence used to convict Alfred Dreyfus of espionage, which resulted in his imprisonment for life on Devil's Island, is flimsy at best. As he investigates further, he discovers that the military and the government doctored much of the evidence. Moreover, the spy who actually passed the information Dreyfus was convicted of sending to the Germans is, in fact, still operating. Warned off the investigation by his superiors, Picquart persists, risking his career and his life to free an innocent man from unjust imprisonment and to stop a spy operating within the military who has gone unpunished.


The novel won the Walter Scott Prize (2014),[3] and the American Library in Paris Book Award (2014).[4]


Robert Harris was inspired to write the novel by his friend Roman Polanski's longtime interest in the Dreyfus affair.[5] Harris followed up the novel with a script of the same story, titled D, which Polanski is set to direct.[6]


External links[edit]