Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Final Reckoning

Author: Sam Bourne
Published: 2008
Publisher: Harper Collins

After a long time I read a thriller novel , which happened to be this book. The story begins with the UN security staff gunning down an 78 year old man mistaking him for a suicide bomber. He was actually a Nazi hunter who had come to New York on a secret mission. Who was his intended victim ? I have read several novels of this genre during my college days and I did not find anything exceptional about the plot of the story. The blurb on the cover says that the author Sam Bourne is the biggest challenger to Dan Brown (of Da Vinci code fame). I don't agree. However the book is well written and fast paced. This is the first novel which I have come across in which the characters make extensive use of current technology in their investigations viz; Blackberry, Face Book, Wikipedia. There may be many more such books but I am not aware of it since I rarely read popular fiction nowadays.
Though this book is a fiction , the background of the story is based on the facts relating to the group of Holocaust survivors who sought revenge for the Nazi slaughter of the Jews during the Second World War. Author has provided reference to the following true accounts and memoirs of Holocaust survivors who became Nazi hunters - Forged in Fury by Michael Elkins, From the Wings by Joseph Harmatz, The Avengers by Richard Cohen, Surviving the Holocaust: The Kovno Ghetto Diary by Avraham Tory. I think these books will be worth reading.
Author has also referred to the the website
and the Kovno photographs by George Kadish. George Kadish was a Lithuanian Jew who secretly photographed the trials of daily life within the ghetto with a hidden camera through the buttonhole of his overcoat. They depict a very realistic picture of the suffering of the Jews. In this novel the main character unravels the suspense with the help of these photographs while he is browsing the web.

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