“The One Man” (Minotaur), by Andrew Gross
Andrew Gross, known for his contemporary thrillers, takes the reader back to World War II and the brutality that Jews faced in the concentration camps in his novel, “The One Man.”
The dilemma Nathan Blum faces is determining how much one life is worth. Blum has escaped a Polish ghetto and made his way to the United States. He lost his entire family to the Nazis, and he has decided to help the U.S. government by becoming an intelligence officer.
Alfred Mendl is a physics professor who has been torn apart from his family and thrown into Auschwitz. His entire life’s work was burned in front of his eyes, and he spends each painful day struggling to stay alive so he can see his family reunited. He meets a teenager named Leo who has the ability to do complex mathematics and remember vast amounts of data without using paper or a calculator. Mendl begins tutoring Leo in physics.
Blum receives an assignment that he knows is a suicide mission. His superiors tell him they need Mendl’s expertise to assist them with a top-secret plan to design a special bomb to end the war and beat the Germans in the design of this weapon. Though they aren’t sure if Mendl is alive, he was last seen at Auschwitz. They want Blum to sneak into the camp and rescue Mendl. He will have 72 hours to achieve his mission.
Gross has written his most heartfelt and compelling book to date, and fans of World War II fiction should add this to their reading lists.