Friday, November 20, 2020

Once We Were Brothers

 Once We Were Brothers

Author: Roland H. Balson 

Publisher: St, Martin’s

Year: 2013


Synopsis: Elliot Rosenzweig, a respected civic leader and wealthy philanthropist, is attending a fundraiser when he is suddenly accosted and accused of being a former Nazi SS officer named Otto Piatek, the Butcher of Zamosc. Although the charges are denounced as preposterous, his accuser is convinced he is right and engages attorney Catherine Lockhart to bring Rosenzweig to justice. Solomon persuades attorney Catherine Lockhart to take his case, revealing that the true Piatek was abandoned as a child and raised by Solomon's own family only to betray them during the Nazi occupation. But has Solomon accused the right man?

I liked the basic plot of this story, but there were some things that just bothered me. Elliot and Ben lived in the same city for decades after the war. Elliot is a big wig with his picture regularly in the newspapers and on television, yet Ben had never heard of him or seen him in all the intervening years? It takes over two weeks for Ben to tell Catherine his story. I know Ben is an old man and it’s an emotional story, but that seemed like the author was just stretching it out to fill the plot. It only took Elliot’s wife three hours to tell her story of what happened during the war and emigration to the US. And at times, the author gave a history lecture instead of letting the historical facts smoothly integrate with the story. 

Overall, the story is good with likable and interesting characters. I just thought the execution of it could have been better. 

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