cover image The Accomplice

The Accomplice

Joseph Kanon. Atria, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5011-2142-5

Edgar-winner Kanon (Defectors) goes through the motions in this uninspired historical thriller. In 1962 Hamburg, Germany, Max Weill, who has dedicated his life since the Holocaust to getting justice for its victims, is hoping to convince his nephew Aaron Wiley, an intelligence analyst for the CIA, to carry on the family tradition. Max’s efforts are unsuccessful until he’s convinced that he spots Otto Schramm, a doctor who partnered with Josef Mengele and was believed to have died in a car accident. Aaron is skeptical, until he stakes out the funeral of Schramm’s wife in a cemetery near the Hamburg airport, along with a reporter friend, Fritz Gruber, and spots the doctor in attendance, complete with a hulking bodyguard who destroys Gruber’s camera and film. Schramm escapes to Buenos Aires, followed by Aaron, who gets close to the Nazi’s attractive daughter by pretending to be conducting a research project on the children of the architects of the Holocaust. Readers looking for a nuanced look at the impact of the sins of the parents will be disappointed. This is a low suspense outing from a writer capable of much better. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM Partners. (Nov.)