Tuesday 27 September 2022

Review - Ashes in the Snow by Oriana Ramunno

Ashes in the Snow by Oriana Rammuno
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Release date: 29 September 2022
Back cover blurb: A young Jewish prisoner… Auschwitz, 1943. It’s snowing outside and Block 10 looks even bleaker than usual. Gioele Errera, a young Jewish boy imprisoned in the camp, finds the body of an SS officer.  A detective with everything to prove… Hugo Fischer is sent to investigate the unexplained death of the renowned Nazi. But Hugo is hiding a secret – he is suffering from a degenerative disease. The only way for him to survive is to give his support to the Reich and hide his condition. A confrontation with pure evil… In Auschwitz, Hugo comes face to face not only with a complex murder, but with a truth – that of the Final Solution. And he is forced to decide what is most important to him – and who, if anyone, he should try to save…

Christmas 1943, Criminologist Hugo Fischer is dispatched to Auschwitz to investigate the death of an SS officer. Although he has heard things in Berlin about the camp, nothing can prepare Hugo for what he finds there.

A reluctant member of the Nazi party, Hugo is forced to hide his own degenerative illness, or run the risk of his own life at the hands of the party policy. It makes daily life a struggle for him, but in the bitter cold of the Polish winter, it becomes almost unbearable.

But Hugo has orders that he must obey, so he cannot even think of turning back to Berlin.

Young prisoner Gioele becomes an unlikely ally. He is one of the “lucky” ones within the camp, chosen by Dr Mengele for his unusual eyes, he is spared from the most barbaric experimentation, bar the frequent taking of blood samples.

Unfortunately his twin has not been so lucky, though Gioele is unaware of this, as he hasn’t seen any of his family since the fateful day that they arrived at Auschwitz.

Hugo, even as a member of the Nazi party is unwelcome to the camp as an outsider. Guards, nurses and doctors are wary of him, and what he might discover, and most go out of their way to make things difficult for him.

In a place where so many are barbaric and cruel, there are many suspects and not many leads. Hugo is in a place he doesn't want to be, conducting an investigation that he wants no part of. But as he begins to gather clues, and some individuals start opening up to him, Hugo is determined not to be defeated.

Exactly what will he discover, and will he make it out alive when so few do?

Ashes in the Snow is available to pre-order now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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