Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Second Son-Jonathan Rabb

The Second Son
Jonathan Rabb
FSG, Feb 15 2011, $26.00
ISBN: 9780374299132

After years of dedicated police work, Berlin Chief Inspector Nikolai Hoffner is forced to quit the Kriminalpolizei. Some believe he lasted longer than a stinking half Jew should. Others will miss his professional diligent work.

With no where to go in Hitler’s Olympic Germany, Nikolai decides to search for his missing second son Georg; sadly he knows he has written off his oldest boy Sascha who salutes wholeheartedly the Nazis. Nikolai travels to Barcelona where the heat melts his bones while the Civil War has ignited as fascists, communists, anarchists and foreign agents compete in deadly combat. The former German cop fears his second son like his first son is ideologically trapped by one of the extremists.

The third Hoffner between the world wars noir (see Rosa and Shadow and Light) is an exhilarating bittersweet thriller that brings to life Spain during the violent civil war. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Nikolai is downsized due to his religious heritage and never slows down although the climax is overly difficult to follow. Still fans will appreciate this entertaining historical as Nikolai prays he can save at least the soul of one of his offspring.

Harriet Klausner

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