Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I was reluctant to read this book, but several people told me they loved it, so I borrowed a copy and dove in.  I found the storytelling to be decent, but the other facets of the book dragged it down so much that I have to disagree with all those proponents.  The dialog is stilted, and the character development is non-existent.  Catherine is an overworked attorney whose friend Liam, a private investigator, introduces her to Ben, a Polish Holocaust survivor.  Ben is convinced that a prominent Chicago philanthropist is a former Nazi who absconded with his family's treasures, including a sizeable amount of cash.  (I didn't understand why this Jewish family didn't keep a large chunk of their cash for escape purposes; if they were giving their valuables to someone for safekeeping, then surely they suspected that they might have to flee.)  Catherine becomes somewhat of a broken record as she incessantly laments the billable hours that she sacrifices in order to hear Ben's story.  (The lady doth protest too much.)  Eventually, of course, she buys into his story so completely that she's willing to risk everything in order to help him obtain retribution.  I, on the other hand, just did not warm up to him and never felt as moved by Ben's story as Catherine was.  In fact, Ben got on my nerves with his refusal to cut to the chase.  Plus, some of the things he did to help rescue his family back in the 1940s, such as impersonating a Nazi officer, seemed a bit far-fetched.  That episode is not really any more preposterous, though, than the fact that an attorney would spend hours of office time listening to an old man's story. 

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