‘A masterful book, a gripping epic, necessary and gorgeously written’ — Stefan Hertmans, author of War and Turpentine.
A tense, thrilling, morally murky read, set in Nazi-occupied Antwerp and inspired by the author’s own family history of collaboration during WW2.
It is 1941, and Antwerp is in the grip of Nazi occupation. Wilfried Wils, novice policeman and frustrated writer, has no intention of being a hero. He just wants to keep his head down; to pretend the fear and violence around him aren’t happening.
But war has a way of catching up with people. When his idealistic best friend draws him into the growing resistance movement, and an SS commander tries to force him into betraying his fellow policemen, Wilfried’s loyalties become horribly, fatally torn. Should he comply, or fight back? As the beatings, destruction and round-ups intensify across the city, he is forced into an act that will shatter his life and, years later, have consequences he could never have imagined.
A searing portrayal of a man trying to survive amid the treachery, compromises and moral darkness of occupation, Will asks what any of us would do to stay alive.