"All I could see was the money she was holding between those long slim fingers. She moved the roll of notes back and forth, idly. I had been penniless before, and poverty had made me stronger, not weak, but that was in my former life. My life was different now, and it was harder to be hungry."
Audacious. Gutty. Provocative and contentious. Four little words that sum up this incredible book about an alternate history of the life of Adolf Hitler. After "The Fall", Wolf is reduced to a private detective who now swims in much murkier, shallow waters than he is accustomed to. The setting is in London where the Communists have taken over, not Hitler's Nazis. Antisemitism still runs rampant around the city and boils hot under Wolf's skin. With that being said, he has no other choice but to take up a missing girl case from a Jewish woman looking for her lost sister. While scouring the bowels of the city, Wolf endures countless brushes of agony, expertly penned by Mr. Tidhar. He is beaten. And defiled. And reduced to the lowest scrap of a man you could imagine. No doubt, hypothetical punishment for the wretched stain on humanity he became in real life. Wolf reaches such a low point that you really can't help almost for feeling sorry for him. Almost.
While many parts of this book with make you as a reader shudder, it is one of the best books I have read this year. Especially considering how it reminded me of an all time classic The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka. Along with the detective tale centered around Wolf, there are intermittent flashes to concentration camps, directly reminding us that of the despair that has wrapped its claws around the 1930's and 40's. It is not a light read, but one that is amazingly conceived and crafted and worth not only reading, but owning.