By – Leon Uris
I read this book years ago, and it was probably 1987. My mother gave it to me for Christmas. She usually gave me a book or two for Christmas, which is perhaps why I like to read. I did recall how good the book was, but the details I had forgotten made me repurchase it, now in electronic format since I do not have the original any longer.
Without giving away the story too much, I will only say it is a legal drama spanning World War II concentration camps until the mid-1960s, but it is not about any war crimes. The author tells a great story that keeps you guessing where the story may lead, and it changes, so you are never quite sure of what the outcome will be.
What I found interesting was how the author built a story almost within a story. Out of the main characters, he told a story that seemed to conclude and then moved on to the next character. In both cases, he wove in the paths of years the two characters lived and their families. What was fascinating was the writing had letters between some characters to give you the feel of some actual correspondence between people as part of the story.
The author dropped little comments about one or the other character made that made you think differently about the character that was not what you had as a perception. This approach gave it the feel of a legal drama or a war crimes drama and a psychological slant.
The title QB VII means Queens Bench 7, and in British law, this is how the judicial branch of England is structured. Along with the incredible story, the author did an excellent job explaining how the judicial system in England works, from the people to the look and feel of the buildings. It gave you the impression that you could visualize the environment as you read the story.
Once the author built character structure and the story, the real meat of the legal drama unfolded. The writing here made for the most exciting part of the book. The questioning between the lawyers left you wondering how the story would end and left you questioning what you once thought of each character before this point.
Any good book worth reading for me has to have a good hook to start the story and keep you interested. The middle has to be compelling to keep reading, and the end should be something you do not expect, and this book had all of that.
QB VII is also another historical fiction book and something I find very interesting along similar lines of Ken Follett. Leon Uris has many novels, and I will certainly pick up another of his books; next will be Exodus, first published in 1958.
If you like a well-written story with great characters and historical fiction, pick up this book. It is 450 pages; give or take a few. I completed the novel in a week. It is a great read. You can read some background on the author here; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Uris