The Night, The Day

Berwick Court Publishing  2014

 

An ex-Nazi meets the Long Island Jewish psychologist in Andrew Kane’s gripping new novel.

Martin Rosen, a highly respected and ethical clinical psychologist as well as a best-selling author is at a crossroads in his own life. He’s lost his wife and baby son in a DUI accident and his young daughter, Elizabeth, has become the center and purpose of his life. Martin has long left his Jewish Orthodox parents’ Brooklyn home and beliefs and hasn’t looked back. He’s confused about his right to a new life, much less a love life, while still grieving his loss.

Jacques Benoit is an extremely wealthy international hotel czar who has successfully hidden his prior life. He was a Nazi official instrumental in the heinous roundups in Lyon, France. Now living on Long Island, he experiences a rash moment and tries to commit suicide to assuage his guilt. Benoit then seeks out Rosen as his therapist for his own reasons and devices. He engages in a cat and mouse game throughout their sessions where his actions are always calculated and deliberate. He eventually shows his cards when he “gifts” Rosen with a wartime “souvenir.”

Martin has become involved with the beautiful Cheryl Manning, but something seems amiss. He has nagging doubts about her and struggles to realize what is wrong with their relationship. Meanwhile a Mossad agent, Galit Stein, is on a mission to avenge the victims of the Holocaust, but has trapped herself in a situation beyond her control.

The main characters are joined in the action by FBI and Mossad agents, NYPD, Long Island authorities, and Martin’s colleagues.

From the exciting prologue on, the reader intensely follows the suspenseful action and psychological warfare. Pensive and reflective office therapy sessions and touching family scenes are countered by big bursting action scenes that transpire in short, powerful chapters. The historical flashbacks of the violent French roundups are powerfully depicted. Long Islanders will nod as they recognize the many local landmarks included.

Kane brings his own psychology background, expertise, and input to the narrative. Patient confidentiality and its far-reaching implications are explored. Is not taking an insider trading tip from a patient the same as not helping authorities find a most callous killer? Will Martin ever betray his ethics for someone else’s cause? Can being above reproach be achieved? Kane portrays the many ways psychologists think about thinking and about the questions they ask or don’t ask.

This immensely readable book presents the themes of forgiveness, guilt, love, and justice. The cover photo of the train tracks to death reappears often in strategic white spaces in the text. It is illustrated as a small black and white train track with an offshoot spur. What choices and which track will be taken? Will the characters move from the blackness of the night to the light of the day?

Discussion Questions

Courtesy of Andrew Kane 

  1. After Benoit’s suicide, Galit accuses Martin of “manipulating him to kill himself.” Do you think Martin consciously led Benoit to suicide? Did he know but not care? Or is Galit right?

  2. Whether Martin simply ignored the signs or purposefully drove Benoit to suicide, he can be considered culpable in Benoit’s death. As a highly regarded psychologist, Martin is bound by the fundamental ethics of his profession. Was Martin right to compromise his professional ethics for a higher morality? At what point should one prioritize personal moral values over professional ethics?

  3. Consider the significance of the brooch. Originally, it was a trophy. Did its meaning change throughout Benoit’s life? Do you think Benoit actually felt guilty for his past and came to Martin seeking forgiveness, or were these alligator tears for a grander scheme? To what degree was his suicide out of fear or genuine guilt?

  4. When Dan Gifford reads of Benoit’s suicide, he concludes it was “convenient, and somehow just.” Do you think Benoit met justice? Did convenience get in the way of justice?

  5. Can one feel penitence, or indeed pay penance, for such heinous crimes?

  6. When Benoit asks Martin for forgiveness, Martin says, “I do not represent the Jewish people any more than you represent the French or the Nazis.” Are there levels to which we do represent our people as individuals? Is it absolute? Can Martin’s forgiveness nullify anything beyond just Benoit’s personal feelings?

  7. Was it right of Galit to mislead Martin as long as she did, or should she have kept her cover the whole time? Did she know sliding the dossier under his door would tip him off or was there some other motivation for her in doing this?

  8. Does Galit play her role a little too well? Can she do her job while remaining true to herself? Are there historical paradigms of women compromising themselves for the greater good?

  9. Did Katherine and Ethan’s deaths play any role in Martin putting his personal ideas of justice above other aspects of his moral sensibilities?

  10. Martin is the therapist. Dan Gifford is the law. Did Gifford influence Martin’s thoughts on justice, even though he was the patient?

  11. Knowing Martin as well as you do, would you see him as a psychologist?

Related Content:



comments powered by Disqus

Have You Read...