Prague Spring

Overview

The murder of a United States congressman's son sends Inspector Simon Wolfe of the San Francisco Police Department on a pursuit in which he is blackmailed with his past as an Israeli assassin. When Inspector Wolfe falls in love with the dead boy's psychiatrist and must protect her from a rogue Nazi operative, he is forced to come to terms with his uncompromising notions of justice that were formed when he was a prisoner in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz.

This gripping tale of ...

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Prague Spring

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Overview

The murder of a United States congressman's son sends Inspector Simon Wolfe of the San Francisco Police Department on a pursuit in which he is blackmailed with his past as an Israeli assassin. When Inspector Wolfe falls in love with the dead boy's psychiatrist and must protect her from a rogue Nazi operative, he is forced to come to terms with his uncompromising notions of justice that were formed when he was a prisoner in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz.

This gripping tale of murder and deceit interweaves history and mystery against the charged and colorful background of Berkeley in the 1960's. Wolfe is a difficult and sympathetic character who relentlessly pursues the truth in a time of desperate optimism. This is more than just a story of good versus evil; it satisfies the genre and then slips its boundaries to provide readers with a deeper understanding of the the law and the pitfalls of love.

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Editorial Reviews

Jewish Book Council
This fast-paced detective story is distinctive in that it weaves two events in 1968--Berkeley's student protests and the Czech uprising against the Soviet Union, for which the book is named, and mixes in flashbacks by the central character to his time as a prisoner in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. Inspector Simon Wolfe works for the San Francisco Police Department, and is a Holocaust survivor who was a member of the Mossad's "Nokim," a group that killed Nazis. When a congressman's son is murdered, Wolfe's attempts to solve the crime are inhibited by the police and the congressman as he is blackmailed about his past. He is further compromised by his feelings for the murder victim's psychiatrist, who is a child of Holocaust survivors herself. Wolfe is a sympathetic character, though he is a loner with unshakable opinions. Wolfe's insistence on following through with this case leads the reader to explore the ideas of political corruption, revenge, justice, and survival.
Hadassah Magazine
San Francisco police inspector Simon Wolfe is a Holocaust survivor who, as a Haganah avenger, assassinated Nazis in Europe. He originally came to the United States in 1952 as a Mossad agent sent to kill a former German mayor who had burned his town's Jews in a synagogue. That mission was aborted, but now, years later, current events infringe on the present: Why does a congressional candidate whose son died suspiciously, want the boy's death ruled an accident? And why is he using an ex-Nazi strongman to blackmail Wolfe about his past--he was a ghetto guard in Theresienstadt and originally entered the United States illegally--to stop the investigation?
When Wolfe consults with the dead boy's psychiatrist--who happens to run an oral survivor history project--they find points of commonality, especially the moral dilemma they have both faced: When is it permissible to take a life? This is an intelligent novel that has humor as well as pain.
Baltimore Jewish Times
If you like detective novels, you’ll love David Del Bourgo’s “Prague Spring.” Written as a Simon Wolfe mystery, the action of the book is set in San Francisco in the 1960s, nearly two decades after the Holocaust, and after the war that still haunts the protagonist. Wolfe, a former Mossad agent and member of its Nokim — a group that tracked and killed former Nazis — is now a San Francisco Police Department detective.
When the murder of rich boy and congressman’s son Chris Cantwell occurs, Wolfe is the first to be alerted. At the crime scene, Wolfe senses foul play. Chris appears to have overdosed on morphine while getting it on with a prostitute in a sleazy hotel. But the story of the murder is a little too neat; the room is left a little too organized; and all of the facts just don’t add up.
Wolfe launches his investigation. However, obstacles challenge him at every turn. Congressman Cantwell isn’t willing to explore the facts about his son’s death. When Wolfe pushes, he becomes caught in a web connecting his past, his present, his family and even his new love. He faces losing his job or losing his integrity, and is torn between truth and deception and between murdering and being murdered.
There’s sex. There’s lust. There’s blackmail. There’s drama, as Wolfe and his partner/brother-in-law tangle over how to handle the case. There’s emotion, as young girls tell their stories of rape and fear. There’s love, as Wolfe falls for the dead boy’s psychiatrist and must protect her from a rogue Nazi operative. There’s nostalgia, as Wolfe is forced to come to terms with his memories of the Camps.
Of course, there is a lot of suspense.
“Prague Spring” offers a great mystery with a Jewish flair. It is one of those novels that the reader just can’t put down, for if done before the book is finished, one’s dreams will be haunted by the plot.
Eileen Austen
Prague Spring is a thrilling, page turning knock out.
Zelda Shluker
This is an intelligent novel that has humor as well as pain.
B. Moore
I read a LOT of detective, police procedural, thriller books and this is one of the best! The author's background as a successful poet really shows in his unique and dynamic use of language. I can't wait to see what happens to our hero Simon Wolfe next!
Panagiotis Kakkavas
Ghosts of past life come back to haunt the present. This book is easy-reading and enjoyable, yet captivating and intriguing. The story flows really well as do the changes between past and present, like a beautifully woven rug.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442119871
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/7/2011
  • Pages: 286
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

David Del Bourgo has had success writing in many forms. Over a hundred of his poems have been printed in literary journals such as Epos and California Quarterly, as well as anthologized in hardback books, including Sephardic Voices, The Literature of Work and Three Los Angeles Poets, a Spanish translation of American poetry. Two books of his poetry have been published through small presses. Elie Weisel wrote the cover note for one of those books. He has won several screenwriting awards, including being a finalist in UCLA's prestigious Diane Thomas, and he is a lifetime member of Squaw Writers.
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