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Monday, January 6, 2014

The German Suitcase by Greg Dinallo

Book Description

A vintage suitcase is pulled from the trash by a young New York advertising executive brainstorming a campaign on her way to work.  The account is Steinbach Luggage, the German answer to Louis Vuitton and Hermes. There’s only one problem with the vintage bag—like Steinbach’s CEO, it’s a Holocaust survivor, as evidenced by the name and other personal data painted on it. It is hallowed memorabilia, and no one dares open it until they can determine if the is owner still alive.  The holocaust survivor turns out to be an 89 year-old member of New York’s Jewish aristocracy, a prominent philanthropist and surgeon. When he gives his consent, the documents found inside the suitcase pique the interest of a New York Times reporter, whose investigation begins to unravel a devastating secret that has been locked away since the day Dachau was liberated.

Book Readers Review

The German Suitcase is thriller that begins in the present day and flashes back to World War 11.  Concurrent stories are dealt with in alternating chapters present and past that tell the horror of Hitler and war time Germany and its repercussions in the present.  A work of fiction and extremely well researched, historical events.  The title itself tells of the storyline, a vintage suitcase found in the trash by a young New York advertising executive.  Stacy, the advertising agent is currently working for a Steinbach Luggage, a German company. The vintage bag belonged to a Holocaust survivor as shown by the personal data painted on it.  Interestingly the CEO of Steinbach's is also a Holocaust survivor.  Through her persistence Stacy uncovers the identity of the owner of the case. He is an 89 year-old member of NY's Jewish aristocrat, a prominent philanthropist and surgeon. Once permission is given by  Doctor to open the suit case, documents contained within become the object of Stacy's boyfriends fascination. Adam Stevens happens to be a NY journalist who needs a ground breaking story to keep his job.  Adams investigations uncover secrets only known by the Doctor and his wife and hidden since the end of WW11and the liberation of the Holocaust camps.

I have not read any of Mr. Dinallos books before but found the title and description of The German Suitcase fascinating.  The story is captivating and graphic but told with sensitivity.  Greg Dinallo has written a true master piece and historic account of the tragic circumstances suffered by both Jews and Germans.  Intrigue, action, good, evil, and love are all part of the theme.  The characters are strong, realistic, and credible, both in the past and present, drawing the reader into their lives.  Dinallos writing brings forth images that are vivid and may be a little disturbing for some readers.  The issues Greg presents deserve contemplation, such as war crimes, guilt, good and evil. I definitely recommend this book for those who are interested in WWII, the Holocaust, and a suspenseful thriller.  I found the story compelling and had to force myself to take a break from reading.  Make sure you have lots of time!  Thank you Mr. Dinallo and NetGalley.

Greg Dinallo, a New York Times Notable Author, has published six novels:  Rockets’ Red Glare, Purpose of Evasion, Final Answers, Touched By Fire, Red Ink and The German Suitcase, Dinallo's latest and digital-first novel.  He has also written and produced many dramatic programs and movies for television.  
Greg Dinallo began his wide-ranging career in the professional design world in Manhattan, where his photography and museum exhibit design projects gradually evolved into film making endeavors. When one of his film shorts won an award at the Chicago Film Festival in 1973, Dinallo was seized with the urge to move to Los Angeles, where he launched a successful second career as a writer for television and film. By 1983 his success in Hollywood enabled him to embark on his third career, as a novelist, which he pursued concurrently with television writing. Mr. Dinallo is the author of nine novels.
With his son and daughter-in-law pursuing busy careers as lawyers in public service, Mr. Dinallo and his wife Gloria now reside in in Greenwich Village, where they dote on their two grandchildren.

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