News and Reviews

New thriller juxtaposes international espionage with one man’s confrontation with the past

November 2007 – Denver, CO and McKinney, TXThe 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.

ISBN: 978-1-4327-1315-7 Format(s): 5.5 x 8.5 Paperback SRP: US $17.95/CAN $19.95
Rivka

What a great story, so timely .
Mike Szumanski perfectly captures the world we live in.
His descriptions Of places and characters are wonderful .
The book involves you and it’s so hard to put down!
Can’t wait for the next one

 

Black Rose Writing

May 26, 2016·

“The Siblings is a great story and so timely…… The characters are so real , the description of situation and places are wonderful . Thru his writings I easily become a part of the situation and places. Looking forward to the next story of Mike Szumanski,” –Shannon Braithwaite, shazbookmad

Graham Morrison
Graham Morrison

Mike’s treatment of the Islamic issues confounding the Western world, in “The Siblings”, skilfully uses conversations with the younger generation (his son) to logically establish the folly of the jihad movement. May his message be universally acknowledged and accepted

Whether you are first time reader of Mike’s 3 books or a big fan , like me, you will be instantly captured into the story in The Siblings. The characters seem like very real people that you know or would want to know and hang out with. The story is very close to today’s events and the history and perspectives provided by the characters are insightful and thought provoking. Easy to read, hard to put down ND yet in some ways, have an element that is a bit disturbing, as sometimes hard to distinguish between the fiction of the book and the realities in today’s world. You gotta read it !

Sharon Gentry
Sharon Gentry

This third book in the Stepnoski series has an interesting plot that felt uncomfortably close to current events. A good history lesson from the author’s perspective was woven into the story. The story line and characters stand well on their own, but are even better if you have read the first two books in the series.

J. H.-Pedersen
J. H.-Pedersen

As a born Copenhagener having lived for 64 years in wonderful Copenhagen, with the Tivoli Garden as my backyard, and with the Paris killings in crystal clear memory, this book gives me a feeling of “it might as well happen here….”. Mike Szumanskis plot is stunningly close to real time, and the scenery of my home town and the beautiful Tivoli Garden is precise, and makes me check my back twice before I enter the subway train or a square where people are gathering. You never know what can happen.
J. H.- Pedersen
Copenhagen

 

Emmanuelle Works

Emmanuelle Works
THE SIBLINGS
User Info

This was a good book. With its international terrorism storyline, it has a spy feel yet it stays close to the characters. You feel like you’re getting to know a real family who would rather not be mixed up in this. Thanks to the author’s own experiences, his own background, you get an interesting perspective. He puts a lot of himself into it. I enjoyed the writing style. He managed to keep this intimate. He shares a lot of his feelings and thoughts through inner monologues. It’s definitely meant to be a subjective piece. That can be a problem if you don’t question his opinion as being just this, an opinion on immigration from the Middle East, an opinion born from personal trauma. So I greatly appreciated the conversation with his son who has a completely different perspective. It made me want to do more research which is great. But the problem I have, what bothered me, is that it still fuels the fear-filled cliches about Middle Eastern Muslims. We have had ONE attack in the US, sponsored by Saudi Arabia, like most Muslim attacks, yet the US still bends over backward for them, and the Europeans don’t know what to do because it’s not one of those small, powerless, easy to bomb and invade country. Every other act of terrorism has still been non-Muslims. There are waves of terrorism in Europe. It’s not constantly growing. Considering the number of Muslims in Europe, that shows they want peace and quiet as a people, as a culture. They’re the first victims of fanatics in their countries of origin. The statement of their culture refusing progress is backward considering the number of times Europeans and Americans caused this step backward by deposing leaders, imposing leaders who allow them to steal the wealth, and making room for fanatic religious figures who, understandably, blame both Westerners (therefore having ground to reject Western culture and values), and corrupt puppet leaders. This is a convenient omission. I checked crime statistics in Denmark. It’s not becoming violent and dangerous. In fact, although there was a slight increase a few years back, it quickly went back down. I just don’t like that the book may fuel paranoia.

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