Crimes of WarBook - 1999
"Reile is alive and he'd been there. He'd done all those things. The shootings, the gassings. I was sure of that. There had been no trial for him. He'd escaped the Soviets, he'd escaped the Germans, and we'd welcomed him in with open arms." So writes Dennis Connor, the hero of this story, a historian/researcher working for the Special Prosecutions Unit, "an organization dedicated to the swift investigation and prosecution of Nazi war criminals in Canada." Yet the SPU in this story -- and in Canadian reality -- had no success in its task, not one successful prosecution to report. Why not? Connor's sardonic account of his busy, well-paid colleagues, building files that will go nowhere, is comic yet chilling. Yet despite the web of office intrigues and affairs, and the researches that take him to Moscow during the failed coup against Yeltsin, he is determined to catch the mass murderer Reile. In alternating chapters we hear from Reile, now a respected senior citizen living quietly in Winnipeg. "Another envelope arrived this morning," he notes, as Connor closes in. The pursuit revives Reile's memories of those terrible times. We watch how, day by day, an ordinary young man in a new uniform turns into a war criminal, involved in scenes that make harrowing reading. This is a deep, powerful novel that will keep readers turning the pages -- and then engaged in hot debate.
Publisher: Toronto : M&S, c1999
Branch Call Number: c823 H7161c
Characteristics: 232 pages ; 24 cm