“Brotherhood of Fear: A Willi Kraus Novel” by Paul Grossman (St. Martin’s Press, 312 pages, in stores)
Readers came to love World War I hero and detective Willi Kraus in “The Sleepwalkers,” which was named Kirkus Best Debut and NPR Top Five Mystery of the Year, and through “Children of Wrath.”
Now Paul Grossman’s memorable protagonist is back in “Brotherhood of Fear,” which is set in 1933. Former Inspektor Kraus has managed to escape Nazi Germany and make his way to Paris. He has no papers, no legal status and very little hope. He lives in fear of being deported back to Germany. His reputation, however, precedes him, and he is enlisted to work illegally as a private eye.
It’s a simple job. The parents of a young university student are worried and want their son followed. Willi follows the young man for a few days. He comes to know his habits, but doesn’t understand why the boy’s parents insist on having him tailed. Then the student is murdered on the subway. Willi sees the murderer but is unable to stop the crime. When Willi returns to the office of the man who hired him, he is no longer there.