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Law of Return
by Rebecca Pawel

Category: Fiction / Historical
288 pages; ISBN: 1569473439

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Law of Return
Rebecca Pawel
Soho, Feb 2004, $24.00, 288 pp.
ISBN: 1569473439

In 1940, Carlos Tejada looks forward to his promotion to lieutenant in the Guardia Civil and his assignment to the university town of Salamanca as he studied there before the Civil War exploded. He does not expect his job to tax his brain as he has to keep track of parolees consisting of former professors who became classified as convicts for defying a Franco decree.

Also returning to the city is Carlos’ college lover Elena Fernandez, who lost her job because she was politically incorrect. Carlos must report on her father as one of his parolees to his superiors.

When a paroleegoes missing, Carlos investigates. He follows Elena to the border where she claims she meets her father to take him home. Actually, Elena is helping a family friend, German Jewish Professor Joseph Meyer, flee France before the French return him to Germany for ethnic cleansing. Will Carlos do his duty to Spain and turn in a woman he still desires and might be a killer or will he help sneak the twosome into Salamanca while also trying to solve the murder of his missing parolee?

Though Carlos is part of the law and involved in a murder mystery, LAW OF RETURN is more an entertaining historical thriller that spotlights the beginning of Franco’s long rule in Spain. Of interest is that though Spain is Fascist like Germany and Italy, the Jewish Meyers feels that this is a safer spot for him than Vichy France and obviously Germany. Readers who take pleasure in a deep historical tale will find Rebecca Pawel’s story providing plenty of pleasure.

Harriet Klausner


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