What this talented author has done has taken the famous "J'Accuse" letter of Emile Zola's to the President of France, in the late nineteenth century and woven a fictional account of his life during this period.
This book is impressively accurate in the details that surround the libel case faced by Zola when he had the temerity to accuse the powerful French Army of a cover-up. The author has gathered her facts well and wound them around the tale of a bystander, a friend of Zola's, who watches his friend commit political and professional suicide simply because he is not prepared to stand by and watch an innocent man be incarcerated for a treason he did not commit.
The writing is stunning and although at only 170 odd pages on Kindle, I was left wanting so much more, this was a compelling read that had me riveted from the first line.
I think more important than the tale of Zola's brave stand against anti-semitism in France and the entrenched powers that be that conspired to cover up the truth, are the big questions that are raised in the book; The rights of the individual to a fair trial, the importance of religious freedom and the separation of church and state.
This is truly is a wonderful read and I continuously had to remind myself that this was essentially fiction, so accurate was the historical detail. A real credit to Mahurin and absolutely deserving every one of the five stars I gave it.