Book Review: A Jew Must Die

More frightening because it is based on a true story, Chessex’s chilling tale set in the early 1940’2 portraits the brutal murder of a Jewish businessman. As the inhabitants of a small Swiss town face economic hardship and the uncertainty of war, a handful of Nazis supporters fan the flames of hatred and hatch a token murder. At first, townspeople view the disappearance of Arthur Bloch with mild interest but when body parts begin appearing they are forced to face the fact that members of their community have perpetrated a heinous crime.

Spare prose and a taut writing style carry this horror story while conveying the feel of living in an isolated mountain community during turbulent times. The economic hardships faced then eerily parallel the challenges faces by society today and provide a grim if timely reminder of what can happen when normally decent people seek a scapegoat. 

 

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