Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday Book Review

The Nazi Hunter, Alan Elsner's debut novel (New York: Arcade Publishing, 2007) kept me riveted from the time I opened the 321 page thriller until I--reluctantly--closed it. 

Set in Washington, D.C., the book chronicles the work of a (fictional) Office of Special Investigations employee, Mark Cain (born Marek Cohen) as he relentlessly pursues information that will connect well-known vocal artist Roberto Delatrucha to a dark Nazi past.

Complicating the effort is the fact that Delatrucha is scheduled to receive a Presidential award, a connection that could have political consequences for the current administration if he is revealed as a brutal killer after the presentation.  

Meanwhile, a lunatic neo-Nazi fringe is planning a strike against a government building--but when and where--and is it part of a plot to conceal Delatrucha's true identity? Someone wants to make sure it isn't revealed, and now Mark Cain may pay a price for his zeal.

Romance isn't ignored, because on a personal level, Mark finds himself falling in love with his assistant Lynn. Both of them are Jewish, but Mark is orthodox--and Lynn isn't sure she can follow the rules.

Well-researched history into the concentration camps that sprang up over Europe in the 1930s and 1940s gives the reader a glimpse of the individuals who made up the six million who went to their deaths during that dark period. Not only did Mark's grandparents perish at Belzec in Poland, but so did a gifted young violinist, Rachel Levitas. And it is Rachel whose resurrected memory may bring about long-overdue justice for her killer.

I can only hope that Mr. Elsnor is working on another novel. I won't be able to get my hands on it fast enough.

Alan Elsner was chief political correspondent for Reuters before he became a Knight International Journalism Fellow.

Also by this author:  Guarded by Angels: How My Father and Uncle Survived Hitler and Cheated Stalin and Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America's Prisons


K9friend said...

That certainly sounds like an exciting read! Thanks for the heads up. I hadn't heard of this author before.

nlindabrit said...

A new author to me and a book that sounds like a riveting read. Thank you.

alan said...

This is the author Alan Elsner.
Thanks so much for your review. I'm happy you enjoyed the book and I'm glad to inform you I have another novel coming out shortly: "Romance Language" -- a love story set against the background of the Romanian revolution. Please feel free to email me at for more details,