I enjoy a good thriller, and I was very much looking forward to Sheldon Greene’s latest novel Prodigal Sons, and I was not disappointed, it is a cracking read from cover to cover. Sheldon has two prior books under his belt Lost And Found and Burnt Umber. He has developed into an author with a great future, his writing style lures the reader into the tale light a moth to the light.
Set in 1950 post war Germany our main protagonist is Horst Vogle, a museum curator and seemingly unassuming world war two veteran. Horst is not however all he seems, he is in actual fact Jewish and in the employ of Israel. His function is to ferret out and assassinate the remnants of the Nazi party that has so far avoided official capture.
He is also interested in recovering the gold and other precious items that were looted by the Nazi party. This wealth he knows is being used to assist in the relocation of party dignitaries to safe havens in South America and elsewhere.
Although Prodigal Sons is very much a work of fiction, it does have some roots in reality, in the post war years there were indeed at least two organizations set up to assist in relocating the remaining Nazi war criminals, on was the Oddesa, which was much publicized by Frederick Forsythe in his 1972 book The Odessa File, and a less well known, but highly influential group known as Die Spinner (The Spider).
Horst Vogle is very much a loner, his work demands it, yet, human nature being what it is, Horst finds himself becoming attracted to a young woman, an aspiring pianist Greta Furster, and it is through her that he meets her ‘social club’ friends. Are they truly just a group who like to meet at the weekend and play tennis? Or do they have other agendas? Agendas that might involve the Nazi party?
Horst must make some potentially life changing decisions, should he throw away his commitment to his Jewish heritage and pursue the alluring Greta, should he live a lie for the rest of his life, or should he in someway explain to her that Horst is a sham and introduce her to Jan Goldberg, the Jew that survived the war as a partisan. And what about her friends? Does she even suspect that they may be involved with the Nazi’s?
I don’t think it would be fair to share any more of the plot with you. To do that would spoil a very splendid reading experience.
From a technical standpoint I have nothing but praise for Prodigal Sons, it has been expertly crafted in every sense. The character development and story line are a work of art. It is not easy to paint an assassin as a hero, yet Sheldon Greene pulls it off with panache. I am hoping to interview Sheldon in the next few days, and I can honestly say that I am looking forward to that. Not only is he an author, but he also is a lawyer, part of a wind energy company, and also was involved in Barrack Obama’s national policy teams on Energy and Immigration. I can’t wait to ask him where he gets time to write as well!
You may purchase your own copy of Prodigal Sons by clicking on the Amazon link above.