San Francisco Police's Inspector Simon Wolfe is blackmailed with his past as a Nazi assassin, while political forces try to stop him from investigating the murder of a teenage boy. When Inspector Wolfe falls in love with the dead boy's psychiatrist and must protect her from a rogue Nazi operative, he is forced to come to terms with his uncompromising notions of justice that were formed when he was a prisoner in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz.
This gripping tale of murder and deceit interweaves history and mystery against the charged and colorful background of Berkeley in 1968.
©2012 Spoken Books Publishing (P)2012 Spoken Books Publishing
I have no idea. I've only listened to the audio edition, which I enjoyed very much.
There are many of these moments, as expected in a good thriller. The first scene stands out: Simon is an assassin working for the Hagannah preying on an ex-Nazi in San Francisco in 1952. Also, Simon's flashbacks to his harrowing experiences as a Jew in Nazi occupied Checoslovaquia are memorable.
I'm sorry to say his performance is a downside to this audio book. His rhythm is very slow, and although I'm sure he means it to be thoughtful, it turns out to be a bit exasperating.
I would have liked to, if I had had the time!
I'm looking forward to more books by Del Bourgo. He's an intelligent writer with a deep sense of history.
Recomment highly. Great story, well paced, interesting setting and background.
The scene where the assasin is interrupted by a young boy.
Never do that.
Compelling social, political and historical elements to the story.
Every now and then, an audiobook offers the perfect marriage of story and reader. Such is the case with David Del Bourgo's Prague Spring and his chosen reader, Bob Walter. Mr. Walter finds just the right tone and inflection for both major and minor characters, no matter their age, ethnicity, or gender -- but particularly Simon Wolfe, Del Bourgo's complex and engaging hero. As presented by Mr. Walter, each player has its own, distinctive voice -- and each rings remarkably true.
But of course, even the best of readers could not bring an ordinary book to life. That obstacle, however, is not present here. Del Bourgo's story is smartly, beautifully told. He expertly interweaves Holocaust horrors with late-`60s unrest, grizzly murders with adolescent love. And he does so through the eyes of a protagonist who is as rich and multi-dimensional as they come -- part survivor, part assassin, part investigator, part realist, and part romantic. Indeed, all the characters -- from hardened detectives to corrupt politicians to abandoned wives to ruthless operatives to sensitive therapists to rebellious teens -- are portrayed with ample depth and honesty. Del Bourgo has no interest in cardboard cutouts, or in generic, clichéd storytelling.
Throw in plenty of time-appropriate details and unexpected plot twists -- including a "whoa" surprise ending -- and you have all the trappings of a first-rate thriller by a first-time novelist. Hopefully the wait for a second, equally compelling Simon Wolfe mystery will not be a long one. And if it too is read by Mr. Walter, all the better.
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