Wednesday, October 9, 2013

First Chapter Review: Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson

Once We Were Brothers is a legal thriller from attorney Ronald Balson. Originally self-published, the book went on to sell 120,000 copies and is now being released by St. Martin's Press Griffin.

BLURB: Elliot Rosenzweig, a respected civic leader and wealthy philanthropist, is attending a fundraiser when he is suddenly accosted and accused of being a former Nazi SS officer named Otto Piatek, “the butcher of Zamosc.” Although the charges are denounced as preposterous, his accuser, Ben Solomon, is convinced he is right. Solomon persuades attorney Catherine Lockhart to listen to his story and take his case, revealing that the true Piatek was abandoned as a child and raised by Solomon's family only to betray them during the Nazi occupation. But has he accused the right man?

Two lives, two worlds and sixty years converge in an explosive race to redemption—this time in the courtroom—that makes for an enthralling tale of love, survival, and ultimately the triumph of the human spirit.

COVER: I prefer people on covers, so this one already catches my eye. The two boys, one with his arm around the other, speaks well to the past this story is built on. A flag of the Nazi Party hanging on the farthest lamp on the building in the background, indicates the time period these boys lived through when they first knew each other.

It would be easy to mistake this book for historical fiction if you used only the cover art as a guide, but I feel the two boys on the front cover will connect well with readers.

CHAPTERS 1- 3: It is September 2004. Ben Solomon prepares for opening night at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Only he doesn't plan to see the opera that night. Elliot Rosenzweig, a great benefactor of the arts, is also preparing to attend the opera. He doesn't know he will soon be accosted by Solomon and accused of being a former Nazi SS officer.

KEEP READING: Wow! What an opening. The first few chapters of this book were very short, so the author's publicist sent me three instead of the standard one. The story begins in present day Chicago. One man is hell bent on exposing the man he believes to be a former Nazi SS officer. The other is blissfully unaware that his life of luxury is going to change that night. Suspense and tension run through these chapters. The details the author provides are just enough to get a feel for each man and, in places, heighten the tension. If the rest of the book is this strong, it will be superb. I'm already totally hooked.

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (October 8, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250046394
ISBN-13: 978-1250046390

I received the first three chapters from the author's publicist. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

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