No Man’s Land By Reginald Hill
Book/Novel Author: Reginald Hill
Book/Novel Title: No Man’s Land
**A particularly compelling novel of brotherhood and brutality among a band of World War I deserters ( *Publishers Weekly* ).**
A small group of soldiers, led by an Australian named Viney, has fled the trenches of the Western front. Now they scavenge to survive in the desolate area known as no mans land.
One of them, Josh, is shaken by the brutality he has witnessed. Another, Lothar, was a German aristocrat who had no desire to die as a supposed hero. There are tensions among the group, but they are united in their disdain for the war that rages around themand Lothar and Josh share another bond, as each has been traumatized by the loss of a brother during the fighting.
But as the runaway soldiers hide in the wilds of eastern France, their iron-fisted leader is being targeted by a Military Police captain with a personal vendettaand they may find that no matter where they run, they cannot escape danger, in this novel of the First World War that offers a different kind of story ( *The New York Times* ).
[An] imaginative war story . . . It is Hills compassionate portrayal of the intricacies of sibling (and romantic) bonding and bereavement that render this novel particularly compelling. *Publishers Weekly*
Vivid background detail, an intricate but believable plot, and solid development of innumerable major and minor characters. *Library Journal* **
### From Publishers Weekly
“These lads here are on the run from the Army, it doesn’t matter which Army, there’s only one sodding huge Army in the whole world.” The speaker is Australian Arthur Viney, leader of a multinational pack of WW I deserters who occupy a tract of land near the site of the Allied Somme offensive. The group is joined by a pair of young deserters, German aristocrat-turned-infantryman Lothar von Seeberg and British soldier Josh Routledge. Lothar and Josh share a special attachment; each has been devastated by the loss of a brother during the war; when Lothar saves Josh’s life at their first meeting, a bond of surrogate brotherhood is sealed between them. How they fare in the company of Viney’s clan, who are wanted by British Capt. Jack Denial for the murder of a woman he loved, constitutes the plot of this imaginative war story. But it is Hill’s (A Killing Kindness; The Spy’s Wife) compassionate portrayal of the intricacies of sibling (and romantic) bonding and bereavement that render this novel particularly compelling. February 2
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.
### From Library Journal
Set in the aftermath of the Battle of Somme, 1916, this offbeat, intriguing tale is based upon the legend of armed and dangerous Allied deserters who supposedly roamed the ruined countryside, “no man’s land,” that existed between the British and German lines. Known to the British as Viney’s Volunteers, the deserters are commanded by Arthur Aloysius Viney, an Australian army sergeant gone mad. Viney’s chief British nemesis is Captain Jack Denial, commander of the military police and peacetime Scotland Yard detective. Viney, it seems, is responsible for the death of Denial’s lover, an Army nurse. By the author of several well-received mystery novels, this present work is carefully researched and thoughtfully written. Its strengths include vivid background detail, an intricate but believable plot, and solid development of innumerable major and minor characters. Good popular reading for most public and larger academic libraries. James B. Hemesath, Adams State Coll Lib., Alamosa, Col.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.