Six Graves to Munich by Mario Puzo

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Six Graves to Munich by Mario Puzo

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Written a year before The Godfather this book has all the hallmarks of the master storyteller. It's dark and violent but never gratuitously so.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: April 2010
Publisher: Quercus
ISBN: 978-1849162760

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In the dying days of the Second World War Michael Rogan, an American Intelligence officer was captured and tortured by a group of seven men, most of whom were senior Gestapo officers trying to obtain the secrets which Rogan could give them. His wife was in another room and he could hear her screams. Ten years later, when he had recovered from the appalling injuries he suffered he made up his mind that he would avenge the death of his wife at the hands of the seven men. It's no easy task as he doesn't even know who they are.

There are, though, ways of finding out such things and Rogan, by now a wealthy man, began to extract his vengeance. By a quirk of fate he met a woman, herself deeply damaged by what had happened to her during the war, but can the thoughts of vengeance be put aside so that they can build a life? Or is Rogan driven by compulsion and obsession to the point where he must kill these seven men regardless of everything else?

It's a superb story, written just a year before Puzo's most famous book The Godfather, but there are all the hallmarks there of a master story-teller at work. There's even a Mafia don who has some very revealing comments to make. It's a relatively slim volume but it wasn't size that meant I got through it in a single sitting but the fact that it's a real page-turner. I didn't warm to Michael Rogan but my heart went out to Rosalie for whom Rogan was the love of her life. She supports him in his need for revenge despite the fact that she would prefer that he let matters be.

The story is dark and in places it is violent but never gratuitously so. The most surprising part for me was the portrayal of the seven men who tortured Rogan and his wife. Some were animals then and are animals now but there are others who have a conscience who would prefer that they could forget what happened and who have led blameless lives in the decade since the end of the war. There's also the implication that many men would have done what they did if they felt that it would help their country. It's insightful and thought-provoking.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals to you then you might also enjoy The Foreign Correspondent by Alan Furst and Power Play by Gavin Esler.

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Buy Six Graves to Munich by Mario Puzo at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Six Graves to Munich by Mario Puzo at


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