A fast-read action thriller, ONLY THE DEAD CAN TALK seems to float into view like a mirage of a World War II ghost ship. Set largely in London, with an international background. That same city where serial murder reached its world apogee in the days of Jack the Ripper, Still not solved in 150 years.
Dr Rutt, the fray eminence of ONLY THE DEAD CAN TALK, escaped from the Nazi Doctors Trials. here he experimented on humans, He had lived in hiding for 50 years, mainly in Chile. By no means a mad scientist, but a man without a soul. Supported by his wealthy family and Nazi pension checks. By accident, he is accidentally arrested in London, ad a new trial is set. But his strange-looking twin bodyguards are set free. A little apish and a lot athletic, they have soulless faces with little expression. They get hold of the short witness list of Rutt's survivors and set about shortening it.
A Golden Boy from California and a female ex-solider sharpshooter from Israel - both adopted and living almost half a world apart - fly to London to become prime witnesses for the prosecution. Under British protection. How could young love blossom in the receding climate of the Holocaust, still resonating in the modern-day air with those most affected? Yet it does. While the tabloids have a holiday with Rutt, and compare him and his experiments to Jack the Ripper.
ONLY TE DEAD CAN TALK tells how two lively sophomores, by purest chance, meet under dire circumstances and fall in love, in the very shadow of death. Even as they step together a little blindly into serial murders and eep danger to themselves. Ad how the young Californian, once called 'Silly Willy' in his childhood, rose to the occasion and swan the swim of a lifetime in the French part of the English Channel.
This novel's lone-escaped Nazi experimenter on humans comes in the end to be rejected by his family n a London telephone booth as he clutches his neo-Nazi electronic Catch Ann Frank game, as if it were among the last true remnants of Hitler's dream. In this sense, ONLY THE DEAD CAN TALK is also a literary psychological novel. Of Jack-the-Ripper's extreme compassion deficit. In true literary style, it not only describes the actions of the characters, but their thoughts. Even to those of one of Rutts's two body guards, whom the tabloids have labelled 'Frankenmen' for their expressionless looks and the possibility that Rutt had played a hand in tweaking their rNA. In this sense, Rutt and his three 'adopted' children are in irreducible essence of a post-Holocaust reflection of the Holocaust.
There is not much that can be really said about this novel without divulging the plot.
Just suffice it to say that it is a twist on the old Nazi twin experiments and how the next generation deals with certain issues that arise in the novel.
The characters were well developed and what looked like a heart-warming reconnection turned into something more sinister. The story progressed well but unfortunately there were instances when the discourse was not situation or age appropriate.
The question remains as to whether justice was truly served.
I personally enjoyed this book, but then I have a thing about what the Nazis did to the Jews during the World War II; and especially the experiments they conducted on these poor people. I will be looking for other books by this author.
Full Disclosure: ARC received from Netgalley for an honest review.
I rated this novel 5 stars on Netgalley and 'I really liked it' on Goodreads (4 stars) and 'I liked it' on Amazon (4 stars).