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Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States

14 July 2013

Stealing from the Dead

Stealing from the Dead by A.J. Zerries is a mystery that combines history, terrorism, murder, a great NYPD detective and a retired CIA agent to lead readers through an intricate, thrilling story of a scam to cheat Holocaust survivors of their right to reclaim funds hidden from them by Swiss banks.

Detective Greta Strasser is in her nineteenth year in the NYPD. Her boss is counting down the days and making sure to make each one as bad as he can. So when Strasser finds inconsistencies with a heart attack in an older Jewish woman, she is told to stop seeing what is not there. But Greta does not give up that easily - it is why she is a good cop.

Then, one late night when she gets back to her Brooklyn apartment, she is approached by an older man. At first she is suspicious - she has had a rough week. But soon he convinces her to trust him. He is an ex-CIA agent (though strictly desk work) who has been following a pattern of supposed heart attacks in older Jewish people whose names appear on a list. The list is of people whose parents or grandparents opened a bank account to try to keep their money safe during World War II. At the end of the war, anyone who attempted to reclaim one of these numbered accounts was told it did not exist. But after years of battle, the Swiss banks have to make the funds available to any living relatives of the men who opened them.

It seems that someone is killing the people who appear on the list. Some person or group is filing out the paperwork and then killing the relative so he/they can claim the funds. And the funds have been traced to an account the funds terrorism against Israel.

Zerries has written a fascinating tale that will capture readers of many genres with this great read. Check it out today. Then join me in hoping Greta Strasser has more books in the future.

Zerries, AJ. (2012). Stealing from the Dead. New York: Forge.

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