It’s a chance meeting. Private investigator Adam Lapid bumps into a man he knew at Auschwitz, a violinist who played in the orchestra the Nazis had at the death camp. It’s Tel Aviv, 1950, and it’s not unusual to see people you once assumed had been murdered in the camps.
The violinist invites Adam to hear a performance he’s given at a bar, and Adam goes. The music is haunting, not only for Adam but for the other patrons as well. Afterward, they part, with a promise to getting together again.
And then Adam finds out that, when he arrived home, the violinist committed suicide. The bar owner asks Adam to look into it, because the idea of suicide makes no sense in this case. As Adam starts, everything points to suicide. Only it points two well to suicide. Adam finds a letter in the man’s mailbox from a friend in Jerusalem. He visits there, only to learn that the friend had also committed suicide. And the friend had also been a musician in the Auschwitz orchestra.
It turns out to be murder. Two, in fact. And then Adam finds a third.
The Auschwitz Violinist by Israeli writer Jonathan Dunsky is the third in the Adam Lipid detective series, and it’s a dandy story. Dunsky combines Israeli modern history, the horrors of the Holocaust, and a hardboiled cynical detective hero to create a story and a series that are riveting and difficult to put down (I failed to put it down, reading it straight through).
The four Adam Lapid mysteries are Ten Years Gone; ; ; and . He’s also published ; ; ; ; and other works. He was born in Israel, served four years in the Israeli Army, lived in Europe for several years, and currently lives in Israel with his family. He has worked in various high-tech firms and operated his own search optimization business.
Reading The Auschwitz Violinist has further confirmed me as an Adam Lapid fan. My problem is that I read them faster than Dunsky can write them.