Missing Pieces

Missing PiecesMissing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf
Published by MIRA on February 1st 2016
Pages: 288
Format: ebook
See it @ Goodreads
three-stars

Synopsis


A woman uncovers earth-shattering secrets about her husband’s family in this chilling page-turner from New York Times bestselling author, Heather Gudenkauf
Sarah Quinlan's husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. For years Jack has avoided returning home, but when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.
Upon arriving, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago. But as facts about Julia’s accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack’s past, but the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.
"An action packed thriller.... Gudenkauf's best book yet!” — Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl
“Missing Pieces is an emotional roller coaster of suspense that will keep you guessing until the final page is turned." — Jennifer McMahon, New York Times bestselling author of The Winter People

My thoughts on this book

Not exactly a thriller, more a who done-it and rather a slow one at that. While I enjoyed the book there was not the spark that I have found in some of Gudenkauf other books.

If there were just a couple more twists to the plot, it would have been a really good read. Not ready to give up on this author yet.

The Nazi Hunters

The Nazi HuntersThe Nazi Hunters by Andrew Nagorski
Published by Simon & Schuster on May 10th 2016
Pages: 416
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four-stars

Synopsis


“[A] deep and sweeping account of a relentless search for justice.” —The Washington Post
More than seven decades after the end of the Second World War, the era of the Nazi Hunters is drawing to a close as they and the hunted die off. Their saga can now be told almost in its entirety.
After the Nuremberg trials and the start of the Cold War, most of the victors in World War II lost interest in prosecuting Nazi war criminals. Many of the lower-ranking perpetrators quickly blended in with the millions who were seeking to rebuild their lives in a new Europe, while those who felt most at risk fled the continent. The Nazi Hunters focuses on the small band of men and women who refused to allow their crimes to be forgotten—and who were determined to track them down to the furthest corners of the earth.
The Nazi Hunters reveals the experiences of the young American prosecutors in the Nuremberg and Dachau trials, Benjamin Ferencz and William Denson; the Polish investigating judge Jan Sehn, who handled the case of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss; Germany’s judge and prosecutor Fritz Bauer, who repeatedly forced his countrymen to confront their country’s record of mass murder; the Mossad agent Rafi Eitan, who was in charge of the Israeli team that nabbed Eichmann; and Eli Rosenbaum, who rose to head the US Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations that belatedly sought to expel war criminals who were living quietly in the United States. But some of the Nazi hunters’ most controversial actions involved the more ambiguous cases, such as former UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim’s attempt to cover up his wartime history. Or the fate of concentration camp guards who have lived into their nineties, long past the time when reliable eyewitnesses could be found to pinpoint their exact roles.
The story of the Nazi hunters is coming to a natural end. It was unprecedented in so many ways, especially the degree to which the initial impulse of revenge was transformed into a struggle for justice. The Nazi hunters have transformed our fundamental notions of right and wrong. Andrew Nagorski’s book is a richly reconstructed odyssey and an unforgettable tale of gritty determination, at times reckless behavior, and relentless pursuit.

My thoughts on this book

Nagorski’s Nazis Hunter’s story picks up after the Nuremberg trials.  The official search for Nazis waned, partly because we became obsessed with the communists and partly because we felt that Germany just needed to get on with its healing from its reign of terror.

For some reason I thought that most of the war criminals of WWII were arrested and prosecuted during the Nuremberg trials, this appears not to have been the case.  Nagorski book covers some of the men and women that continued to search for war criminals well into the twenty-first century.

The book serves to remind us that we can never forget what happened and that we should bring to justice those that abuse their powers.

A Death in White Bear Lake: The True Chronicle of an All-American Town

A Death in White Bear Lake: The True Chronicle of an All-American TownA Death in White Bear Lake: The True Chronicle of an All-American Town by Barry Siegel
Published by Ballantine Books on November 28th 2000
Pages: 544
See it @ Goodreads
four-half-stars

Synopsis


"We want to talk to you about my brother who was murdered twenty-one years ago--can we come in?" The veneer of tranquility in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, began to crack the day Jerry Sherwood and her son showed up at the police station to inquire about her first-born son, Dennis--adopted by Lois and Harold Jurgens and dead before his fourth birthday. The autopsy report ruled peritonitis was the cause, but the startling photos of the boy suggested murder.
How could the Jurgens kill a small child and get away with it? Determined to find answers, detectives Ron Meehan and Greg Kindle tracked down old witnesses and rebuilt the case brick by brick until they exposed the demons that drove an adopted parent to torture and eventually murder a helpless child. Just as compelling, they investigated why so many people watched and did absolutely nothing. A vivid portrait of an all-American town that harbored a killer, A Death in White Bear Lake is also the absorbing story of two detectives who refused to give up until they had the killer cold.

My thoughts on this book

Interesting book that encapsulates a national tragedy, child abuse was pretty well neglected by both the medical profession and law enforcement up until the 1960’s.  The attitude was who would do something like that and it’s really none of our business.  Once the scope of the abuse of children began to come to light both the medical profession and law enforcement stepped up to face the challenge.

What is so very sad about this book is that it is not about an isolated instance but rather it is just an example of what was going on through out the country.  Even in today’s world abuse of children continues, unabated.  The year Dennis Jurgen died, White Bear Lake became the All-American city of 1965.  The irony of this, is what makes this story so compelling.