Book Review: The Sixth Man by Rupert Colley

TheSixthManAbout the Book

Sometimes we all make the wrong choice.

1943 Nazi-occupied France. Six Frenchmen are in a Nazi prison: a doctor, a postman, a policeman, a soldier, a teacher and a priest. After six months of prison, they are a desperate looking set of men. But, despite their circumstances, they are happy – for tonight is their last night of incarceration. Tomorrow, they will be free men. But then – there’s a change of plan. The French resistance have blown up a German train. Five German soldiers lie dead. Tomorrow, five of the six prisoners will be executed in reprisal. They have until dawn to decide which one of them should be allowed to live.

Six happy men are now six desperate frightened souls, victims of the Nazi’s arbitrary justice. The doctor, the postman, the policeman, the soldier, the teacher and the priest. Only one of them will live to see another day. Who will be The Sixth Man?

Format: eBook (pp.)            Publisher:
Published: 8th April 2017   Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery

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My Review

In The Sixth Man, the author brings us six cautionary tales told by men who believe they are spending their last night on earth and have a last chance to confess to their worst sins before they meet their Maker.   In a sort of chilling balloon debate, they agree that once all have told their stories, the group will vote on which man deserves to escape death.

The stories they tell involve cowardice, greed, dishonour, collusion, jealousy and ambition.   However, although they have all made mistakes in their lives, often with terrible consequences for themselves and others, these are also men who in other respects have displayed dedication, public service, diligence, compassion and professional skill. After all, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone…”

In the spirit of the author’s request at the end of the book, I’m not going to say any more about what happens. If you absolutely don’t want any clue before you read the book for yourself, then don’t look at my “Try something similar” recommendation further down this post either!

It was the historical setting of the book that first drew me to The Sixth Man and the individual stories, the overall theme and the surprising ending didn’t disappoint.  I received a review copy courtesy of the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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In three words: Chilling, mystery, thought-provoking

Try something similar…An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley


Rupert Colley is founder, writer and Series Editor of History In An Hour , owned by HarperCollins UK, and now author of three novels. The first, My Brother the Enemy, a novella, is set during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. The second, This Time Tomorrow, set during and following World War One, is a compelling story of war, brotherly love, passion and betrayal. His third novel, The Black Maria, is set in Moscow in 1935, the height of Stalin’s reign, about love crushed by the machine.

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