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Second Lieutenant Tommy Hart, a navigator whose B-25 was shot out of the sky in 1942, is burdened with guilt as the only surviving member of his crew. Now he is just another POW at the fiercely guarded Stalag Luft 13 in Bavaria.
Then routine comes to a halt with the arrival of a new prisoner: First Lieutenant Lincoln Scott, an African American Tuskegee airman who instantly becomes the target of contempt from his fellow soldiers. When a prisoner is brutally murdered, and all the blood-soaked evidence points to Scott, Hart is tapped to defend the soldier. In a trial rife with racial tension and raw conflict, where the lines between ally and enemy blur, there are those with their own secret motives, and a burning passion for a rush to judgment, no matter what the cost.
Tolstoy, Proust, Shakespeare. Need to read Homer and some of the Greek tragedies, as well. Hard to consider oneself properly educated without a fundamental grounding in the classics, sir. My mother taught me that. She's a teacher." "That may very well be true, lieutenant," MacNamara responded. "I hadn't considered it in precisely those terms." "Really? I'm surprised. Well, regardless, Dickens was an interesting writer, sir," Scott continued. "There's one important thing to remember, when
idealistic. "Well, that's the first bit of luck we've had," Hugh exclaimed. "Something of a surprise for Lieutenant Fenelli tomorrow, I'd "say." He took the blade from Tommy's hand, weighed it, and added, "A nasty bit of business, this." Scott reached out and took his turn with the knife. He remained quiet until he handed it back to Tommy. "I don't trust it," he said sharply. "What do you mean?" Hugh asked. "That's the bloody murder weapon, all right." "Yes. That's probably true. And it
started slowly, making sure his soft words were crisp and clear, "there's something we need to keep in mind about tonight." His words made Tommy pause, almost chilling him. "What?" Hugh asked. Tommy could hear Scott inhale deeply, as if the weight of what he was about to say bore down on him, creating a burden none of them had foreseen. "Men have died to bring about tonight," he whispered. "Men have worked hard and then died hard to give others a chance at freedom. There were two men
were not there. All it meant was that he could not see them. Still, he was encouraged. If he could not see them, then perhaps they could not see him. Carefully, still hugging the earth, Hugh Renaday turned slightly, snaking himself forward again, but now angling back on a diagonal path toward Hut 101. He made a plan, which also reinvigorated him: crawl another fifty yards, then wait. Wait at least an hour, maybe two. Wait for the last and deepest part of the night to arrive, and then make an
miles per hour, and looking for all the world in that terrifying moment like some nonchalant Manhattan commuter hanging from a subway train strap patiently waiting for his stop. In his bunk, he shivered again. He remembered: The sergeant in the turret screaming. Tommy had staggered a step toward the gunner because he'd known that the man was locked into his seat, and the safety catch wouldn't release because the impact must have jammed it shut, and he was crying for help. But in that second,