Narrated by the amazing Dick Hill, Black Cross is a long listen, over twenty hours. The story begins with the death of WWII veteran Michael McConnell, who, typical of all war veterans, has never conveyed any details of his service, neither to his wife nor his son. An old companion, aware of these secrets, seeks out McConnell’s son, and deems that some amazing heroics and history needs told or forever lost. The book is the narration of Michael McConnell’s horrific tale.
There is latitude taken by the author, as it pertains to point of view and writing technique. The story is supposed to be a documented history, as witnessed by Michael McConnell. Several scenes, most in fact, are such that McConnell cannot and doesn’t witness them, the scenes include other ancillary characters and it’s never exactly clear how McConnell could be aware of these instances. For example, conversations between Churchill and his generals while McConnell is working in a lab at Oxford. Scenes that take place between two women in a concentration camp, or between a concentration camp prisoner and an SS agent. How can these events be conveyed without ever having been witnessed by McConnell himself? Much of the story is basically hearsay.
This conundrum aside, the tale is gripping and a sad commentary of the inhumanity inflicted by humans upon each other. Greg Iles thought Black Cross was one of his best efforts … it is, albeit distressing and terribly sad. Although fiction, the basics of the atrocities inflicted by Germany are true.
Excellent narration, of course, by Dick Hill. Well worth the credits.