Named “The Book of the Year” by Lee Child in The Guardian
From “master of the genre” (The Washington Post) and author of Leaving Berlin, a heart-pounding and intelligent espionage novel about a Nazi war criminal who was supposed to be dead, the rogue CIA agent on his trail, and the beautiful woman connected to them both.
Seventeen years after the fall of the Third Reich, Max Weill has never forgotten the atrocities he saw as a prisoner at Auschwitz—nor the face of Dr. Otto Schramm. He was the camp doctor who worked with Mengele on appalling experiments and who sent Max’s family to the gas chambers. As the war came to a close, Schramm was one of the many high-ranking former-Nazi officers who managed to escape Germany for new lives in South America, where leaders like Argentina’s Juan Perón gave them safe harbor and new identities. With his life nearing its end, Max asks his nephew Aaron Wiley—an American CIA desk analyst—to complete the task Max never could: to track down Otto in Argentina, capture him, and bring him back to Germany to stand trial.
Unable to deny his uncle, Aaron travels to Buenos Aires and discovers a city where Nazis thrive in plain sight, mingling with Argentine high society. He ingratiates himself with Otto’s alluring but damaged daughter, whom he’s convinced is hiding her father. Enlisting the help of a German newspaper reporter, an Israeli agent, and the obliging CIA station chief in Buenos Aires, he hunts for Otto—a complicated monster, unexpectedly human but still capable of murder if cornered. Unable to distinguish allies from enemies, Aaron will ultimately have to discover just how far he is prepared to go to render justice.
“With his remarkable emotional precision and mastery of tone” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Joseph Kanon crafts another “gripping and authentic” (The New York Times Book Review) thriller that you won’t be able to put down.
Edgar-winner Kanon (Defectors) goes through the motions in this uninspired historical thriller. In 1962 Hamburg, Germany, Max Weill, who has dedicated his life since the Holocaust to getting justice for its victims, is hoping to convince his nephew Aaron Wiley, an intelligence analyst for the CIA, to carry on the family tradition. Max's efforts are unsuccessful until he's convinced that he spots Otto Schramm, a doctor who partnered with Josef Mengele and was believed to have died in a car accident. Aaron is skeptical, until he stakes out the funeral of Schramm's wife in a cemetery near the Hamburg airport, along with a reporter friend, Fritz Gruber, and spots the doctor in attendance, complete with a hulking bodyguard who destroys Gruber's camera and film. Schramm escapes to Buenos Aires, followed by Aaron, who gets close to the Nazi's attractive daughter by pretending to be conducting a research project on the children of the architects of the Holocaust. Readers looking for a nuanced look at the impact of the sins of the parents will be disappointed. This is a low suspense outing from a writer capable of much better.