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Publisher's Summary

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

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  • Rollin
  • Cholula, Mexico
  • 09-17-14

A superior police thriller suffused with history

Would you consider the audio edition of Prague Spring to be better than the print version?

I have no idea. I've only listened to the audio edition, which I enjoyed very much.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Prague Spring?

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.

What does Bob Walter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would have liked to, if I had had the time!

Any additional comments?

I'm looking forward to more books by Del Bourgo. He's an intelligent writer with a deep sense of history.

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  • Performance
  • Story

Brilliant Mystery!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Recomment highly. Great story, well paced, interesting setting and background.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Prague Spring?

The scene where the assasin is interrupted by a young boy.

Which character – as performed by Bob Walter – was your favorite?

Simon Wolfe

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Never do that.

Any additional comments?

Compelling social, political and historical elements to the story.

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The perfect marriage of story and reader

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.