The Sixth Man

“Absolutely stunning. Harrowing and deeply thought-provoking. This beautifully written WWII novel echoes the best existential novels of a bygone age. Brilliant!” — RHYS BOWEN, author of In Farleigh Field.

“Imagine George Simenon unravelling half-dozen confessions set in a Vichy prison. Rupert Colley does them one better by playing Russian roulette with the lives of six condemned French resistants who have to choose one amongst themselves not to die but to live. Read it in a sitting. It’s a novel to give you the chills.” — ALEX ROSENBERG, author of The Girl from Krakow and Autumn in Oxford.

“Rupert Colley’s The Sixth Man is a poignant fable that reminds us of the frailty of our morality. Through richly drawn characters, Colley shows the power of confession and forgiveness and the strength of the human character. It is a tale of triumph set during one of history’s darkest nights.” — KELLY DURHAM, author of Berlin Calling.

“With echoes of Alan Furst’s French Resistance novels and Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, but also Dickens’  A Christmas Carol, The Sixth Man will be one of the most memorable and intriguing novels you have read this year. Six characters with much to feel of ashamed of in their pasts come to terms with death and the need for repentance and love.” ELIZA GRAHAM, author of The One I Was.

“It has been years since I read a story that not only kept my interest and moved me, but forced me to think about life on a deeper level like this one. The Sixth Man has a strong moral to teach, but does it in such a subtle way that it is almost imperceptible. The writing is spare, but powerful; the story simple, but profound.” Historical Novel Society.  

Also available as part of the French Occupation Trilogy boxed set.

What’s the Worst Thing You’ve Ever Done?
Would you ADMIT it if your life depended on it?

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?

The Sixth Man is a novel about the difficult choices we have to make and living with the consequences.

Reader reviews:

“Rupert Colley has introduced six exceptional and forceful stories that are driven by vivid characters ably created by the inventive author’s brilliant imagination. He is a skilled story teller who allows tension to mount as he generates twists and turns until the final surprise ending.”

“Colley is a master story teller, and his character-driven tales will stay in your memory for a long, long time.”

“Read this and be overwhelmed by the superb writing.”

“Plunges into a story that simultaneously makes you turn the pages as fast as you can while hoping to prolong the experience.”

The Sixth Man is one of the most engrossing, thought-provoking, well-written books I have read in a long time.”

“Remarkable in its originality; you will be intrigued and spellbound by this engrossing novel.”

“There is acceptance, redemption, forgiveness, peace. There is sacrifice. There is closure. And there is a twist ending that is unexpected and ought to be read.”

“Rupert Colley has an amazing way with words.”

“A stunning, emotional read.”

“Intricately woven with the past and present weaved together effortlessly.”

“The story left me shaken, astonished at the outcome. It will be with me for a long time.”

“The ending will shock you!”

“The surprises and twists throughout the story will keep you guessing until the end.”

“After several weeks, I am still thinking about this story.”

“The story pulls you in and holds you right to the end. Colley weaves a detailed plot with many layers, all of which he ties up neatly.”

“Wow, this book was amazing.”

“A compelling, moving read.”

“A powerful story on several levels.”

“The entire novel’s six interlocking parts will leave you quizzical, quavering, questioning and quite satisfied.”

“Thought-provoking, tense and well-written, The Sixth Man is a riveting read.”


Here, a two-minute video of the author talking about the novel.