Forty years’ accumulation of art, antiques, and family photographs are more than just objects for Stanley Peke—they are proof of a life fully lived. A life he could have easily lost long ago.
When a con man steals his houseful of possessions in a sophisticated moving-day scam, Peke wanders helplessly through his empty New England home, inevitably reminded of another helpless time: decades in Peke’s past, a cold and threadbare Stanislaw Shmuel Pecoskowitz eked out a desperate existence in the war-torn Polish countryside, subsisting on scraps and dodging Nazi soldiers. Now, the seventy-two-year-old Peke—who survived, came to America, and succeeded—must summon his original grit and determination to track down the thieves, retrieve his things, and restore the life he made for himself.
Peke and his wife, Rose, trace the path of the thieves’ truck across America, to the wilds of Montana, and to an ultimate, chilling confrontation with not only the thieves but also with Peke’s brutal, unresolved past.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Stanley Peke (born Stanislaw Shmuel Pecoskowitz in Poland during the Nazi regime) is a 72-year-old survivor; Rose, his wife of over 50 years, is 70. After moving from their Greenwich Village apartment, and 40 years living in their large house in Westchester while raising their three children, it is finally moving day, when they are about to start the newest chapter of their lives in Santa Barbara, California. Now long retired, Stanley thinks of himself as a “half-attentive homebody, like Voltaire’s Candide.” They watch the four-man crew pack up all their possessions, including their Mercedes SL convertible. But they soon discover that they have been the latest victims of a sophisticated scam, and all their worldly possessions, including heirlooms, expensive artwork and the more mundane possessions of your average householder, have been stolen. Even the clothes for their trip west were packed into two suitcases in the trunk of the convertible. Stanley still feels that he is first and foremost an assimilated Jew, the intervening decades notwithstanding. He can’t help but think back to the nine-year-old boy he was, arriving in New York, alone and penniless, all those years ago, and his survivor mentality kicks in. He determines to track down his possessions, and the men who prey on elderly, wealthy people such as himself and Rose. He has never spoken to his wife of his experiences as a child during the war in Europe, nor “the rage harbored, intact, since seven,” which now stand him in good stead This is an excellent novel, the writing elegant, but it is much more powerful than merely a tale of a crime and criminals, and it is highly recommended.
This was a powerful story. The thief is determined to take everything from his mark, but his mark is determined to get it back. It's an amazing suspense that will hook you right from the start. You get a look from not only the victims point of view, but also the thieves point of view as well. It will make you think, what would you do?
As far as Thrillers go, I can't say that I found it all that thrilling. It was a decent mystery though, mostly surrounding the main character Stanley Peke, a man of great reserve and a lifetime of secrets. In his 70's Stan has had plenty of time to hide his secret past and when his possessions have been taken by ruthless crooks, he's not about to let a lifetime of good memories go away without a fight. The writing is a bit repetative and I found this distracting but the mystery was played well. It made the climax well worth the wait! The severity of Stan's secrets are exposed for more than just the surface grievances that many readers could have guessed. I love that there was a dark twist to the story and think mystery fans would really like this one. For the full review, please visit The Reader's Hollow blog