From the Back Cover:
Sicily, June 1943. Platoon Ten of the Canadian infantry takes two Italian prisoners. Nicknamed Big Jim and Little Joe, the two are regarded with tolerance and humour by the platoon. It comes as a shock to the Canadians when the colonel orders the execution of the prisoners.
As the men work their way north into Italy, the execution haunts each of them. Lieutenant Adam, Padre Doorn, Rifleman Jones, and Major Bazin react individually to the atrocities they witness. For all of them, however, execution becomes the ultimate evil. But, as one of them says, “Struggling against it may be the closest man ever comes to victory.”
“An exceptionally good war novel.” (New York Times)
“A strong novel which packs a tremendous emotional punch and deserves high praise.” (Globe and Mail)
Colin McDougall, who won the Governor General’s Award for Execution in 1958, fought in the Italian campaign with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and was awarded the D.S.O. His short stories have been published widely in Canadian and American magazines.