The year is 1942 and Europe is besieged by war. Germany has defeated most of Europe, is ruling France, and approaching Russia. In occupied Paris, Karl Bazinger, a German officer, has realised that he can no longer ignore the war. An adventurer, traveller, the perfect guest, Karl has always avoided politics for the good life. But lately he has begun to question the regime he serves. In Germany, at the centre of power, Hans Beilenberg, a fellow officer and an old friend of Karl's, has found a way out of the same dilemma. But he knows - with chilling certainty - that his decision can only lead to death. And in Kiev, where the fighting is at its pitch, Katia, a doctor, tries to hold onto her old life as she waits anxiously for her husband's return from one of Stalin's labour camps. Elegant, urbane and subtle in tone, elegiac in its mood, "The Year is '42" is a small masterpiece.