In the closing days of World War II, the Nazi high command has trained for a secret mission of sabotage along the eastern shores of Florida by burying explosives on the beaches to prepare for the inevitable defeat of the Reich and their ultimate revenge. Combined with modern international land fraud and betrayal of the most sacred trusts of all, and the fuse is lit.
|Publisher:||Burping Frog Publishing|
|File size:||311 KB|
About the Author
Sandy Cohen’s published works include three books stories, articles, poetry, and essays in journals and magazines in the United States, Canada, China, Germany, England, and Greece. His work, critical and creative, has drawn praise from, among others, Norman Mailer, Bernard Malamud, Patrick White and Isaac Beshevis Singer. He has been a professor, jazz musician, bookbinder, actor and, for almost two decades, a humorous commentator on public radio. He appeared in his own mini-series for public television and in a feature film, Do Not Disturb, filmed in northern China, where he lived for a year. He currently resides in southwest Florida with his nearly-perfect family.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Viper's Son spans some 60 years as the reader is taken back through time in powerful vignettes that reveal the background of the central characters, then propelled forward into the present day. Very early we're introduced to the underlying theme of the book: human nature's capacity for both perpetrating horrible evil and finding redemption. The reader becomes completely immersed in the raw brutality and vehement hatred that the Nazis' perpetrated. We don't just glimpse into Otto Meyer's inception as a true Aryan,we dwell to witness how evil hone its skills upon an unsuspecting prey. Through the interconnected streams that give both depth and wonderfully-crafted contrasts between the younger and older stages of the central characters we witness young Otto become the perfect Nazi only to evolve into a born again Christian, and Heinrich Hind, an assistant accountant, collect the masses of gold teeth, eyeglasses and jewelry salvaged from the victims of a Nazi death camp. Ironically he goes out for a smoke just as a squad of SS troopers kills all the workers in the camp. Heinrich suddenly finds freedom and flees to the good life in South Florida. We see Lt. Colonel Gruber as a young and conflicted German officer with a secret that becomes revelatory in the end. At the center of the narrative is Sheriff Luther Kruger, the viper's son. Through Kruger, Cohen depicts evil at it most vile and dispassionate. He embodies all the archetypal and classical characteristics that define a perfect villain. Next to her was a tall, gaunt man with straight, blonde, Aryan hair and a hooked, broken nose, thin lips, and pale, almost translucent skin. Hind felt almost frightened by the watery, washed-out blue eyes. He had seen such eyes before, in his youth, the eyes of the SS guards at the killing camps where he worked so long ago, counting and scraping and weighing gold teeth. These eyes in front of him had ridges above them like a snake's and he was horrified. The story opens with Nazis burying high explosives on a quiet beach in S.E. Florida. Otto Meyer believes he was betrayed by Lt. Colonel Gruber and sets out to get his revenge only to find a new life as Sheriff Kruger, in a small beach town of Surftow at the beginnings of the great condominium boon. Gruber also finds a new life as William Goldman, proprietor of a small fishing boat. The two men live distinctly different lives and raise distinctly different children. Sheriff Gruber finds Jesus and redemption. Captain Goldman finds redemption in the sea. What they buried on that quiet beach becomes the focal point of all the action in the story. Cohen takes the reader through a series of murders; graft coupled with unconscionable greed; corruption and dispassionate sex. All these raw and brutal acts done around a single focal point: the explosives, in the early chapters, wound up buried under a luxury high-rise. In the end evil is vanquished and redemption bestowed upon the good and just.