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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In the third book of The Devil's Bookkeepers series, The Noose Closes by Mark Newhouse, it is now September 1942 in the Lodz ghetto, Poland. Bernard Ostrowski is in complete turmoil after witnessing his wife and child being taken from the ghetto. Bernard tries to come to terms with the betrayal of the ghetto leader Chairman Rumkowski, who made an oath to his people that he would never allow the Nazis to take their children. Now along with the other Jews, he fights for survival with little food and typhus spreading through the ghetto at an alarming rate. The Nazis seem to have drained away everyone's dignity and strength until they are nothing more than empty shells. No-one knows the fate of those resettled away from the ghetto and many still believe the promise that they will return one day. Bernard encounters a group of Jewish resistance fighters who reveal the horrific truth and the ultimate goal of the Nazis that the ghettos are slowly being emptied. Will he heed the warning and leave the ghetto before it is too late and will he ever see his beloved family again?
This exceptionally powerful novel will transport you into the ghetto immediately. Mark Newhouse has captured the appalling reality of the Jewish ghettos and the emotions felt by the people forced to endure daily torture. The subject matter is, of course, very emotional to read but this novel relays the feelings and mental state of those poor people you have only witnessed in black and white pictures. The Devil's Bookkeepers novels have given the victims of the Holocaust a voice, finally. It also examines, with the utmost sensitivity, how different people faced with such sadistic adversity will behave. The historical facts are brought to life in a riveting storyline that covers many aspects of the Holocaust left untold. I have often wondered how the Nazis were able to gain power over so many and why the Jewish people did not rise up and fight back. The Noose Closes covers all of those questions and many more. There are many moments that will send chills down your spine, such as the discovery of the shoes and the lies told regarding the resettlement. I will never forget the contents of this novel; it needs to be read by everyone as it is only through education that we can honor the victims and ensure these atrocities will never happen again.