New thriller juxtaposes international espionage with one man’s confrontation with the past
November 2007 – Denver, CO and McKinney, TX –The Immigrants is a complex novel about one man’s quest to come to terms with his own familial past, as he investigates a murder that quickly unfolds into a case of industrial and military espionage. Played out against the sights, sounds, and tastes of an Eastern Europe he knows so well, lawyer Adam Stepowski is pulled into a deadly cat-and-mouse game of altered identities, mixed motives, and far too many hit-and-run victims.
Adam Stepowski, a Polish émigré from Denmark, is an international sales manager for a mining and construction company in charge of foreign business negotiations. But when the company is sold, Adam, his wife and two children choose to move and begin life anew in Northern Virginia. There he decides to attend law school, and because he is a man with a talent for the culinary arts and a special appreciation for Eastern European cuisine, he also becomes a restaurateur. After graduation, Adam accepts an offer from one of his customers to become an investigative lawyer, working for a firm that specializes in criminal litigation involving foreign nationals, immigration cases and international disputes.
Adam is handed a murder case involving a beautiful Russian immigrant whose child has been kidnapped and who has been arrested in the strangulation death of her ex-husband. Tatiana Siemioshkina swears she is innocent and pleads with Adam to help her find her son. As Adam tries to uncover the truth, his search takes him to places that are intertwined with his own past, and soon his world is filled with painful reminiscences.
“He wondered what people felt when they lost close relatives. Not a parent who died a natural death at old age after a relatively happy life, but a young sister or brother, mother and father in their prime, favorite uncle or aunt who spoiled them, or a wife, a child, whose life was interrupted unexpectedly, violently and without a reason. Adam looked at the forest and sighed. Everybody from his parents’ generation had experienced such a loss. They didn’t talk much about it—didn’t talk about the feelings, just about the facts. Henryk Stepowski hadn’t cried when he was telling about that night in Lvov. Too much pain and danger had followed that night….”
For those unaware of the tragic plight of the Polish Jews, The Immigrants serves as an important history lesson. Through its pages we learn of the horrors of the treatment of Polish Jews during World War II, as well as the plight of the survivors and their children, such as Adam, who were forced by the Communist Poland into exile in the late 1960s. This leads to a parallel story within The Immigrants in which Adam finds himself also seeking to uncover the true identity of his mother-in-law’s tormentor from so many years ago—an ex-Nazi SS guard whose cruel ways continue unabated.
Played out against the vivid backdrops of Russia, Poland, the Ukraine, Denmark, Germany, and Argentina, The Immigrants is a well-spun novel that is as intriguing and suspenseful as it is sobering.