19 Dec 2012
"The Odessa File" by Frederick Forsyth
Have you heard of Simon Wiesenthal? If not you seriously need to google him pretty much right now. He was a very special, very cool man who dedicated his life to chasing nazis who had actively participated in the atrocities during WWII. In his quest to bring these criminals (I'm really wanting to write a much less diplomatic word) to justice, he had to give up a lot of things that most people would be reluctant to and his work paid off and some of the most disgusting nazis were made to pay for their crimes.
Simon Wiesenthal is one of the inspirations for "The Odessa File" by Frederick Forsyth, a 1972 novel, which tells the story of a young freelance reporter who finds himself getting tangled up in the chase of a
man who lead a concentration camp in Riga. Although the Peter Miller lives a disorganized life of reporting and relaxing with his gorgeous girlfriend, the eh... showdancer... Sigrid. When he comes across the diary of an old man who has killed himself, he first regards it as nothing more than an interesting story. But the more he researches and learns about the story, the more it starts to affect him. It is a gruesome tale of a Jewish man who experiences the worst of nightmares under the nazi regime and Peter Miller decides that he must chase down the responsible commander and find out if he is still alive. And if he is alive, he wants revenge or justice or at least to make this beast face his past.
As crime fiction goes, this one is pretty good. At least in my opinion. As historical fiction maybe not so much... But it works for what it is. The only thing that really got to me was the ending, I would have written that differently. But that might just be me. It is a popular book that has sold a lot so it might be that I'm just being difficult... All in all a bit of a meh read for me, should probably have read a Wiesenthal biography instead.