I was expecting a very different book from the one I read, “The Mechanic” by Alan Gold. This book was difficult for me to read because of the subject matter. It begins as Theodore Broderick’s family comes together for his funeral. Justice Broderick had a very successful life as a judge and Supreme Court Justice. His granddaughter, Chasca finds a manuscript that was in her grandfather’s possession that seems to mitigate the death sentence of a Nazi sentenced during the Nuremberg Trials in 1946. Chasca is determined to find the family of William Deutch, share the manuscript, and find a way to honor this man, whom by all accounts was not the depraved Nazi that he was tried and sentenced for. I found this difficult to read because of the graphic description of life as a prisoner of Auchwitz, Birkenau, Belsen and Sachenhausen concentration camps.
The manuscript found in Justice Broderick’s possessions after his death seems to exonerate William Deutch, known as The Mechanic. His job at these camps was to see that the crematorium furnaces worked efficiently and continuously. The writings of Joachim Gutman describe Deutch as a decent German citizen caught up in the fanatic Nazi movement against the Jews. Gutman was a prisoner in the camps and was taken under Deutch’s wing and saved from starvation and death by his humanitarian actions. He was said to have saved many lives in this manner. Lawyer Broderick was a defense lawyer during the Nuremberg Trials and believed that Deutch may not have been the monster he was purported to be. Follow this story as it leads us through the years and through the memories of Joachim Gutman and William Deutch. Please do NOT read ahead. I promise you that the ending is worth waiting for.
I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this novel from NightOwlReviews.com in return for my honest opinion of the book.