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Auschwitz prisoners Perla and Shimon Divko—she an investigative reporter, he a former lead detective in the Warsaw ghetto—are forced by Kommandant Rudolf Höss to solve the murder of his chief accountant and find millions in missing gold taken from the bodies of Jewish corpses. With Reichsführer Himmler due for his annual audit, they have a week to solve the crime or watch hundreds of their peers executed as the penalty for their failure. Overseen by Nazi Lieutenant Helmut Graf, the three investigators dive deep inside Auschwitz—the Kanada harvesting operation, the killing process, and the perils of daily life. The investigation is plagued by multiple red herrings, the murder of prime suspects and witnesses, and the complicated relationship between Höss and his mistress, Gisela Brandt, an SS officer.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THE DEVIL’S BREATH:
A terrific read, full of humanity and surprises. If you’re looking for a novel that checks all the right boxes, The Devil’s Breath by Tom Hogan is for you. It’s got characters that speak and behave like real, fully formed people. It’s got a compelling plot that will keep you enthralled from one page to the next. It’s got drama, suspense, pathos, a surprise ending.
An original murder mystery to add to your list. A fast-moving story of intrigue and deception that keeps you turning the page until the climatic finish. Tom Hogan’s deep knowledge of the Holocaust is both educational and disturbing as he is unsparing in detail of the inner workings and atrocities at the Auschwitz death camp.
From archaeological digs in Israel to life in both Protestant and Catholic seminaries to launching tech startups in Silicon Valley, Tom Hogan has led a fascinating life. And he brings that richness of experience to his writing, both fiction and non-fiction.
A smart, character-driven thriller
This story drew me in with its fascinating cast of characters and plot revelations, and kept me turning the pages until the last, unexpected twist. If you like your thrillers gritty but grounded in reality, you’ll love this…
I thoroughly enjoyed this book
This book selection came from a recommendation from a friend and I was not disappointed…I was soon caught up in both the plot and the characters. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn it was made into a movie.
An exploration of human interactions
…The author has an acute sense of how people really talk to each other. The dialogue-driven narrative moves inexorably to a surprise “twist” conclusion. Highly recommended.
Left For Alive
Two brothers and their ex-con cohorts are investigated at every turn by press and police. Their violent mysteries start to unravel, until a final revelation gives one brother a new life while ending the life of the other.