When this book (Peace) was recommended to me, I read the description and was a bit reluctant to read it at first. The plot sounded all too familiar. A soldier witnesses a murder committed by his Sargent and must decide if he should report it. After seeing the book was only about 170 pages I decided I would give it a try (that and the fact that I trust the person who recommended it to me).
The setting for Peace is Italy during WWII. Most of the story takes place during the mission after the murder takes place. Corporal Marson and two of his men must scout ahead for German troops and report back to the Sargent. Richard Bausch meshes together a wonderful story of the “current” mission, the past, and personal memories that build the reality of the characters that the readers will feel for and know on a personal level.
The thing that sets this story apart (from what felt so familiar to me), is the fact that Richard Bausch has the murder taking place so fast that no one could have stopped it and at a time that it was almost understandable (for a moment). To muddle things further Corp. Marson and his men hear the Nazi’s committing an atrocity and they are helpless to stop it. The story makes it impossible not to compare “the murder” with the acts of war.
As a reader you should be prepared for an emotional story that is hard to put down. One that is profound on many levels and is told (written) so well you will be thinking about it long after you have finished it.