The Nazi Hunter is a nice pacey thriller about a man who chases ageing Nazis on behalf of the US government. He works for an arm of the Department of Justice tasked with finding war criminals hiding in the US. The man is called Mark Cain and his notoriety provides him with a case that comes in on two legs.

Along the way he picks up a couple of neo-Nazis who want to kill him for being a Nazi-hunter and a Jew. These neo-Nazis are about as hackneyed and clichéd as possible. One of them is ex-army but can’t seem to muster any competence in killing the main characters. The journal of one of them that ends each chapter is, however, a good glimpse into the mindset of modern neo-Nazi, whether he be American or from Central Europe.

The sub-plot involving these two dolts trying to set off a truck bomb ala Oklahoma in DC seems stuck in and a bit weak, but it’s a device that gives a reason for Cain’s father going with him on a research trip to Europe. Cain’s girlfriend, the toughest of the three, ends up coming along for the same reason.

Anyway the main raison d’etre of the book is well done and the hunt to prove a leading tenor is a former SS death camp operative is both fascinating and moving. Cain’s Jewishness and his work also add an interesting element as he reconciles both with having a personal life.

In total the book is well written and pacey. It’s surprisingly short and the author takes great pains to make sure that it never drags at all. My minor niggles aside, I would recommend this book from the veteran Reuters journo Elsner. I am looking forward to whatever his imagination musters next.

For a debut novel it is to be admired and there is a clear talent behind the words. Oh yes, I should add that any writer will enjoy the amusing dig at literary agents that ends the book. Quite biting in fact, and no doubt accurate about some in the trade.

A decent book from a promising author that is well worth seeking out. I thoroughly enjoyed it; my quibbles notwithstanding.

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