The German Money
"What a gift for a writer to be able to sustain unflagging,
sweaty-palm suspense in a novel almost through character alone. This
is what the prodigious Lev Raphael pulls off in The German Money, a
mystery whose shocking denouement is so organic to the whole thing
that it feels as if a boiling volcano has finally let loose. Best
known for his fiction and nonfiction about Holocaust survivors'
children, Raphael has also written five witty mysteries. The German
Money combines his multiple talents with his understanding of
Holocaust survivors and their families to produce one of the most
powerful suspense novels in years, a kind of Kafka meets Philip Roth
meets le Carré—a beautifully modulated narrative."
—The Washington Post Book World
"If you're starving for a powerful novel, buy Lev Raphael's latest
book, The German Money, a potent, contemporary story about the
complicated lives of three Jewish siblings, descendants of a mother
who survived the death factories of the Holocaust, and had a closely
guarded a terrible secret, the kind that tears lives apart. Raphael
carefully escorts his readers into the sad, touching lives of the
siblings, then expertly guides us among the powerful scenes."
—The Fort Worth Star-Sentinel
"A tightly plotted novel that is part psychological thriller and part
tale of how the past is never past."
"A provocative psychological thriller."
—The Seattle Times
"Raphael applies his talents as a suspense writer to this
unconventional Holocaust novel... The sharpness of the family
portrait and the appeal of the romantic subplot make this an
"A kind of genealogy thriller, the book asks difficult questions
about Jewish life after the Holocaust, and addresses the complexity
of the healing process that Jews and Germans are wrestling with
—Uncut Magazine (London)
"Raphael's novel offers not only astute observations on how siblings
interact—and find it so difficult to escape childhood behavioural
patterns—but also a gentle and enjoyable mystery tale."
—The Jewish Chronicle (London)
"Raphael has said that he wanted to 'write a novel about the things
people don't say.' In this he has succeeded brilliantly.
The German Money is a special story, one that, in addition to
conveying an idea of damage done, provides some basis of hope."
"An inventive mixture of Second Generation family and mystery
tales... Raphael has a fine ear for the diction and accents of New
York and of refugee life especially, and he has a writer's mordant
eye for revealing his main character's inner life..."
"Lev Raphael delivers the goods in a thriller with a wicked twist:
The German Money is a fast, engaging read, with glints of insight,
and a deeper, twisting message about the ambiguities of history and
—The Jerusalem Post
"A heartfelt story of rediscovered romance."
—The Denver Post
"A gripping mystery that deserves a wider audience."
—Lambda Book Report
"This is a very intimate book. Bright and creative. Unexpected and
significant. For a man who has spent his life refusing to accept
that the Holocaust has anything to do with him, inheriting these
funds feels like anything but a blessing. Eventually the truth
reveals itself in a shocking conclusion. Having recognized that
truth, I was wrapped up in Paul's journey and found it quite
—Jewish Book World
"An intriguing, coming-of-age novel for adults, Raphael's
exceptionally well-crafted tale moves smoothly and adroitly
towards an unexpected conclusion."
—Lansing State Journal
"Raphael has written short stories and novels dealing with the Holocaust and crime, and The German Money can be seen as a distillation of all of them. He lets the story unfold slowly, giving the reader time to become acquainted with the characters before reaching deep into the emotional undertow and exposing the tensions that bind and divide a family."
—Harrisburg Patriot-News (PA)
"My favorite book to recommend to book groups this month is a new
novel called The German Money. I agree with Kafka when he says, 'A
book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us,' especially when
it comes to book club reading. If you don't find your world rocked
and your assumptions challenged, then what will there be to discuss?
This is an intense novel that insists its reader fall into a world
filled with secrets and silences, the world, in fact, of many
children of Holocaust survivors. Readers will know what it is to be
an angry and embittered young Jewish man who has spent the better
part of his life running from something that happened over fifty
years ago, to a completely different person. The German Money
wields a sharp axe at a vast frozen sea, indeed."
—Nicki Leone, WHQR 91.3 FM, North Carolina Public Radio
"This novel is a finely executed quest, a voyage of discovery, and
at last a hopeful tribute to the ability of the damaged human heart
—Steven Hartov, The Detroit Jewish News
"As surprising as anything Patricia Cornwell could dream up... the book leaves the reader thinking, as well as satisfied."
—The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles