I haven’t found a book on the train since the wisely-abandoned Pilger, but as I walked up to my carriage today looking for news I spotted Black Cross, a 1995 novel by Greg Iles, lying on a seat.
It wasn’t a book-cross – no serial number.
The back cover read:
“In January 1944, four people hold the fate of the world in their hands.
They are not statesmen or generals, but an American doctor, a German nurse, a Zionist killer and a young Jewish widow.
What they are forced to do in the name of victory – and survival – shows with terrible clarity that in a world where all is at stake, war can have no rules.”
The last sentence of the afterword (page 422 at size 8 font and minimal line spacing) reads:
“Finally I would ask young readers to realise that fifty years is not a long time”.
It’s a novel about just war. Allreader’s tabular data says “How much violence? Just the right amount”. And Iles’ own site indicates he’s a genre buster.
In my acquisitive way I tucked it under my arm along with a copy of The Sun and The Independent.