David Peretz has actually just published another novel The Broderick Curse, and my plan was to review it, however when I talked with David Peretz I discovered that his first book had the same lead character, and while the two stories do stand alone there is some interrelationship. So I decided to read The Mosel Legacy first.

What a great read! Our hero os Ross Corteze an American/Italian NYPD detective. Although highly thought of and decorated, he has fallen on some hard times. Off duty he witnessed a robbery and when the fleeing robber stopped and turned around Ross though he was holding a gun, his reflex action was to shoot first. The gun turned out to be a piece of metal pipe, the weapon used to severely beat the victim. The classic race card comes into play, white cop shoots black kid. It is on the shelf for Ross while Internal Affairs investigates.

Solace comes by way of an amber liquid from a bottle, and depression sets in. A chance conversation with a drinking pal gets Ross thinking about two very fine pieces of furniture that have been in his family’s possession for many years.  His parents originally owned them. and they passed them onto Ross as a wedding present. Now they are just a sad reminder of his dead wife. Could they be worth something? Maybe he could sell them and make some money to help pay for his children’s college fees? He takes some pictures of them and heads to a large well known auction house. They are indeed very valuable items, they are the work of Kirmen Mosel, an early 20th century Secession furniture creator. They could reach $100,000 at auction.

Ross could pay all of the tuition fees, and still have a small fortune left?

Ross has nagging doubts though, the auction house asked probing questions about where the furniture came from. Alluding to the fact that if their was not a detailed history, there may be some awkward questions concerning the legality of ownership.

Meanwhile in Vienna there is an avid Mosel collector Erich Hanfnagel, a wealthy and ruthless businessman with political aspirations. Politics of a very dark and very unsavory nature, the re-emergence of the Nazi party. Erich gets word of the sudden appearance of the Mosel pieces and dispatches his daughter, a stunning beauty. Willi Hanfnagel to check the authenticity, and do whatever it takes to secure possession of them. ‘If need be, bring Ross to Vienna for a week’, he instructs her.

Ropss does waiver over selling to the alluring Willi, and with a little gentle persuasion of the ‘Mata Hari’ style, Ross finds himself in Vienna. It does not take him long to discover that the beauty of the city is skin deep. Beneath the picturesque facade lays a very dark underbelly. The city was the early training ground of Adolf Hitler, and although it is many years later many neo-nazi sentiments still exist.

To share more of the plot would be a disservice, suffice it to say that it runs at break neck speed, and the conclusion is one that I have to admit is stunning. I can honestly say that I did not see the twist in the plot coming.

For a debut novel David Peretz has done a great job. His character development, and use of plot keeps the reader glued from page one.

You can order your copy of The Mosel Legacy from Amazon. And check back here soon for my review of David’s new novel The Broderick Curse, which I have to say I am very much looking forward to reading in the light of The Mosel Legacy. David Peretz also has a web site.

Simon Barrett

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