The Investigating Officer Author:Frederick L. Keefe The Investigating Officer is a novel charged with suspense and narrative drive. It is also a powerful indictment of the military code and mentality. — Its setting is that part of Austria occupied by the famed 115th Infantry Division during the priod immediately following VE Day. Captain Thomas Rankin, who is new to the veteran unit and who has ... more »never experienced actual combat, is placed in charge of an investigation of the shooting of two German prisoners of war by one of the divion's junior officers. The officer says that the prisoners tried to escape while he was taking them to higher headquarters and that he killed them in the line of duty. The corporal who was with him backs him up, but two Austrian villagers (who may or may not have been Nazis) claim to have witnessed the incident and have reported it as cold-blooded murder, insisting that the prisoners were ordered to run and then deliberately shot in the back.
The investigation takes two days - the span of the novel - and we are carried through it by a series of scenes in which the motives, fears, hostilities and loyalties of many people are bared. By the time the investigation is finished the investigating officer himself has become involved to an extent he could not foresee.
Frederick L. Keefe's writing is of a high order, and the suspense if masterfully sustained. In its concern with moral issues, in its portrayal of a vast range of characters in conflict, and in its evocation of a particular place at a particular time The Investigating Officer is in the best tradition of the American novel. (The novel is based on an actual indicent. The characters, however, are all fictitious, as are the military units and the places that are mentioned.)
(The book was from a library, but is in excellent condition)« less