Book Review: The Devil's Breath by Tom Hogan


I almost passed on this book. I'm so glad I didn't. It's a rare book that makes me want to grab someone and tell them about it, I want to shout about how good this is. 

The Details:

The Devil's Breath by Tom Hogan

Published: 2021

Publisher: Tom Hogan

Genre: Historical Fiction, WWII, Jewish History, Holocaust

Pages: 261

Available: paperback, ebook

My Review:

Reviewers Note: I was sent a free paperback copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

The Plot in Brief: Detective Shimon Divko and his wife Perla are sent to Auschwitz prison camp in Poland. Separated on arrival, neither believes they will see each other again, let alone survive. When the murder of a Nazi accountant occurs and a secret ledger goes missing, camp Kommandant Ruldolph Höss, forces them to investigate. 

The Characters: Shimon and Perla are Jewish Poles; they've fought against the Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto, organized resistance and executed their own for collaborating. Their outward persona is gritty and hard but they are deeply in love however their well of compassion for their fellow Jews is tested to the limits. The Germans are well drawn, not the usual one dimensional baddies we often get. We get a peek behind their hardened façade, not always liking what we see. 

The History: I thought I knew a fair bit about the Holocaust but I was wrong. This book is chock-full of historical detail. The description of life at Auschwitz is both fascinating and horrifying. From its beginnings as a work camp to its evolution into a killing machine, the story of the place is dark and painful to read. 

The Writing: This is an unusual book: an exciting murder mystery/detective thriller wrapped in the cold dead arms of a Nazi death camp. The narrative is gripping, the pace is fast. The writing is excellent and well edited. Back stories are well placed to fill in the details of the character's nature and motives. The ending will blow you away, so don't cheat yourself and take a peek at the ending. 

Overall: I thought this was one of the best books I've read in a long time. I think lovers of historical fiction, historical mystery, readers who enjoy WWII/Holocaust/Jewish history and those who like great detective stories will want to read this book. 

My Rating: 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐+ Stars!

This book is available on Amazon:


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