The Uniform is a historical thriller set across Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Austria during the Second World War. It follows David Korda, a Hungarian Jewish medical student, who has the misfortune of taking his final exams in Prague as the Germans march in. He is expelled and eventually pressed into slave labour. David keeps himself going by practicing medicine as best he can. After five years of ‘grading roads, laying rail ties, and mining salt,’ his end finally looks near when he is ordered to Ebensee concentration camp, which is a virtual death sentence. However, a glimmer of hope emerges when he is taken to treat a horse for a senior Gestapo officer, an opportunity David seizes for all it’s worth.
This is an intriguing parable of the human spirit, of how someone who is completely powerless, at the bottom of the pile, can overcome a ruthless and cold-blooded enemy with just their wits and courage, necessity being the mother of invention. The prose has a melodic black humour that underpins David Korda’s resilience and his will to survive, even when there is no hope. David suffers a never-ending litany of disaster that racks up the tension, with obstacle after obstacle, as he battles to overcome adversity in this edgy and thoughtfully written book.