Back in 2017 I reviewed Joseph Kanon’s 2015 historical thriller Leaving Berlin. While it didn’t blow me away, nevertheless I thought it wasn’t a bad piece of historical fiction, leaving me intrigued and wanting to read Kanon’s other novels like Istanbul Passage and Alibi. Feeling hopeful, I concluded “there’s a good chance you’ll see more of Kanon’s novels featured on my blog.” Sadly, three years would pass until I read anything else by Kanon. This time around it would be his most recent offering, The Accomplice published late last year. After stumbling across a copy on the New Books shelf at my public library I decided to take a chance. As luck would have it I discovered a decent page-turner and whipped through The Accomplice in no time.
Set in 1962 not long after the apprehension of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, Aaron Wiley travels to West Germany at the request of his uncle Max, a Holocaust survivor. While the two men chat at an outdoor cafe, Max spots who he swears is Dr. Otto Schramm, a camp doctor who worked with Mengele at Auschwitz and was responsible for sending Max’s family, including his young son to the gas chambers. The stress of seeing the Nazi war criminal gives Max a heart attack and after he’s rushed to the hospital he makes Aaron promise he’ll hunt down Schramm and bring him to justice.
Even though Schramm reportedly died in a car accident in Argentina, Aaron honors his ailing uncle’s request and begins his search. A talented Desk Officer for the CIA, he puts his skills and connections to work, following a trail of clues leading to him to Buenos Aires where a community of German expats now call home. Interesting enough, one of them is Schramm’s daughter, a beautiful but damaged divorcée who Aaron thinks is the key to finding the evil doctor. But is Max’s interest in her more than professional?
The Accomplice is a fast-paced entertaining novel with no shortage of plot twists. Once again, I’m left wanting to read more of Kanon’s fiction. Perhaps this time it won’t take me three years to do so.