Genre: Science Fiction; Suspense; Thriller
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
How I acquired this book: I purchased it.
Book Blurb: Alive and hiding in South America, the fiendish Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele gathers a group of former colleagues for a horrifying project—the creation of the Fourth Reich. Barry Kohler, a young investigative journalist, gets wind of the project and informs famed Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman, but before he can relay the evidence, Kohler is killed.
Thus Ira Levin opens one of the strangest and most masterful novels of his career. Why has Mengele marked a number of harmless aging men for murder? What is the hidden link thatbinds them? What interest can they possibly hold for their killers: six former SS men dispatched from South America by the mostwanted Nazi still alive, the notorious “Angel of Death“? Oneman alone must answer these questions and stop the killings—Lieberman, himself aging and thought by some to be losing hisgrip on reality.
At the heart of The Boys from Brazil lies a frightening contemporary nightmare, chilling and all too possible.
My Review: This book had me on the edge of my seat; it's worth suspending disbelief for. The cat-and-mouse game between Josef Mengele and a Nazi hunter, mixed with a sci-fi plot about nature versus nurture, makes for a fast, absorbing read.
If you're not familiar with Josef Mengele, read up on him before you begin. The book only hints at what a butcher this "Angel of Death" was. (Knowing he was still alive and at large in South America when this book came out gave me pause while reading it.)
My one complaint about this story is that the characters seem like rough sketches. I wanted to grow attached to Liebermann, the Nazi hunter (based loosely on Simon Wiesenthal) and Klaus, a young German who helps him. But they seemed more servants to the plot than characters in their own right. Still, I'll probably revisit this book--if only to study the art of creating suspense.
On Kindle: Yes. Find it at Amazon here.
1978 Film Version: See IMDB