A gripping thriller, The Nazi Hunter mixes fierce partisan Washington politics, the search for ex-Nazi criminals, and a crazed, right-wing militia intent on bringing down the government. Nicknamed “the Nazi Hunter,” Marek Cain, deputy director of the Office of Special Investigations at the Justice Department, has for ten years been the point man for tracking down ex-Nazis who have fraudulently entered the United States since World War II and bringing them to justice.
One late afternoon, a distraught German woman eludes security and slips into Cain’s office. “I have documents,” she says, “important documents only for the Nazi Hunter.” She promises to bring them the next day. When she doesn’t show, he dismisses her as just another crackpot. But when he reads in the Washington Post the next morning that the woman has been brutally murdered, he senses he’s on to something big. He must find those documents. The trail leads from Washington to Miami to Boston, back to the Belzec concentration camp in Poland, where half a million Jews were murdered in the winter of 1942, and into the lair of America’s fascist militias.
At the start of this gripping debut thriller set in 1994, a German-accented woman named Sophie Reiner appears at the desk of Marek Cain, a Nazi hunter in the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, and tells Marek that she can deliver smoking gun documents concerning Belzec, an extermination camp in Poland where half a million Jews were murdered in 1942. Marek is extremely interested, both professionally and personally: his own grandparents perished at Belzec. The next day, Sophie turns up dead in her hotel room, where the police find a CD of Argentinean baritone Roberto Delatrucha singing Schubert lieder. The possible Argentinean connection sets off alarms for the veteran investigator, and soon he's hot on the trail of the famous singer. Subplots involving neo-Nazis out to blow up Washington, and the newly elected Republican congress threatening to cut off OSI funding add suspense, but it's Marek's quest to expose Delatrucha's past that drives this compelling tale. Elsner is also the author of Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America's Prisons and Guarded by Angels, a Holocaust family chronicle.