Every Tuesday First Chapter, First Paragraph/Intros is hosted by Vicky of I’d Rather Be at the Beach sharing the first paragraph or two of a book she’s reading or plans to read soon.
Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you’re reading. No spoilers, please! List the author and book title too.
My first paragraph this week is from Munich by Robert Harris, which I’m currently reading.
Shortly before one o’clock on the afternoon of Tuesday 27 September 1938, Mr Hugh Legat of His Majesty’s Diplomatic Service was shown to his table beside one of the floor-to-ceiling windows of the Ritz restaurant in London, ordered a half-bottle of 1921 Dom Perignon that he could not afford, folded his copy of The Times to page seventeen and began to read for the third time the speech that had been delivered the night before in Berlin’s Sportpalast by Adolf Hitler.
Here is a teaser from page 99.
The Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain is talking to Legat about the suffering endured through the last war (the First World War):
… Afterwards, whenever I saw a war memorial, or visited one of those vast cemeteries in France where so many dear friends are buried, I always vowed that if ever I was in a position to prevent such a catastrophe from happening again, I would do anything – sacrifice anything – to maintain peace. You understand that?’
September 1938. Hitler is determined to start a war. Chamberlain is desperate to preserve the peace. The issue is to be decided in a city that will forever afterwards be notorious for what takes place there. Munich.
As Chamberlain’s plane judders over the Channel and the Fürher’s train steams relentlessly south from Berlin, two young men travel with secrets of their own.
Hugh Legat is one of Chamberlain’s private secretaries, Paul Hartmann a German diplomat and member of the anti-Hitler resistance. Great friends at Oxford before Hitler came to power, they haven’t seen one another since they were last in Munich six years earlier. Now their paths are destined to cross again as the future of Europe hangs in the balance.
When the stakes are this high, who are you willing to betray? Your friends, your family, your country or your conscience?
I’ve read just a few pages on from my teaser and am firmly fixed in the pre-war years and hoping, futilely I know, that Chamberlain would succeed in preventing the coming war. I also want to know more about him. As Harris has portrayed him so far in this book he seems a man out of his time – a Victorian figure – and a man who like Hitler was egocentric, a man who ‘always conflated the national interest with himself.‘ (page 37)