This work of historical fiction is dedicated to renowned Nazi hunters Serge and Beate Klarsfeld, who were responsible for tracking down and convicting the infamous Klaus Barbie, the “Butcher of Lyon.” The story takes place in Berlin in 1948, three years after the end of WWII. Three fictional Nazi hunters — Jewish brothers Max and Karl Portnoy and German Sara Sturm — meet when an antisemitic act brings them together. They collaborate on a mission to find Heinz Hoffman, a scientist who is responsible for the murder of many Jews, including Max’s and Karl’s parents and sister. Sara has much interest in this venture, since she tragically lost her family during the war.
Some terrifying dangers stand in the way of these three Nazi hunters as they make a somewhat hopeless journey through Germany to the Russian border. The top-secret, Nazi-protecting organization Odessa is chasing after them. All the while, top-ranking Nazis are finding ways to escape to South America; Max, Karl, and Sara are running out of time to bring them to justice.
With its many wild twists and turns, Before the Storm may be an improbable story, but it is also an exciting and fast-paced read that discusses survival, trust, betrayal, and retribution. Readers of Issa Harel’s The House on Garibaldi Street, Frederick Forsyth’s The Odessa File, and A.J. Sidransky’s The Interpreter will be familiar with Odessa’s efforts to protect, hide, and whisk Nazis away.