In the Adam Lapid Series, Jonathan Dunsky has brought to life a very unique private detective, and the two most recent additions to Detective Lapid’s story, A Deadly Act and The Auschwitz Detective, are chalked full of unique challenges and twists.
Adam Lapid is a retired Hungarian police detective and a Holocaust survivor. A Deadly Act takes place at the end of World War II, finding our hard-boiled detective having just lost his wife, daughters, and siblings to the atrocities of Auschwitz and immigrated to Palestine, where he is trying to help build the state of Israel and return to his work. While he is hardened on the outside, internally, he is deeply vulnerable and still recovering from the trauma of the war. The memories invade his sleep and thoughts catch him off guard when he least expects them.
The fifth book in the Adam Lapid series, this installment is a fascinating and thrilling story. In the novel, Lapid is working on a cold case to uncover a runaway killer who has escaped detection for at least five years. But, as he continues working to solve the crime, conflicting stories begin emerging, and he realises that he has opened a nest of angry hornets. Readers will surely be enthralled trying to navigate the twists and turns of the case along with Detective Lapid. Equally engaging are the facts about Israel’s early history and detailed locations that Dunsky describes.
The Auschwitz Detective, book six in the series, is a prequel that takes the reader back to the concentration camp where Lapid was a prisoner in the fall and winter of 1944. When a young boy is murdered, the Lageralteste, a fellow prisoner elevated to senior status and given leadership duties, is angered and wants to exact revenge on the culprit. Lapid is given the case and forced to take on the role of detective once again, interviewing other prisoners and guards and working to uncover a murderer in a place where dozens are killed daily.
It is a story of right and wrong, of the struggle to maintain faith in humanity when witnessing pure evil. But, in the end, The Auschwitz Detective illustrates how human decency is a trait that can never be completely destroyed – there will always be someone who still cares about the difference between right and wrong.
Dunsky has done detailed research on life in the camps, and the atrocities detailed in this novel are unsettling but unexaggerated. The crimes against humanity described, though hard to read, are the truth, and they are important to never forget.
Merle Eisman Carrus resides in New Hampshire and writes book reviews for the NH Jewish Reporter newspaper. She is a graduate of Emerson College and received her Masters of Jewish Studies from Hebrew College. She blogs her book reviews at firstname.lastname@example.org