Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Exiles-Elliot Krieger

Elliot Krieger
Soho, Aug 2009, $24.00
ISBN 9781569475898

American war protesters have found sanctuary in Canada and Sweden. In fact the European nation welcomes those dodging the draft and soldiers going AWOL. American Lenny Spiegel leaves the states as a draft resistor settling in Uppsala. He is immediately welcomed by American Resisters Movement, who consists of draft dodgers, AWOL soldiers and anti-war protesters. U.S. Army deserter Aaronson leads the motley group of expatriate Americans.

Spiegel looks so much like Aaronson, he was arrested back home for crimes the other committed. With that in mind, Aaronson borrows Spiegel’s passport insisting he needs it to travel to Denmark to help other defectors as he cannot use his own because he would be arrested. When Aaronson fails to return, a panicky Spiegel has no identification to prove who he is even as he yearns to just go home. While everyone in the group assumes he is Aaronson, the real Aaronson is in West Germany pretending to be Spiegel; who now fears his doppelganger has plans for a terrorist act in his name.

Once the players are set, this is a stupendous look with a great twist at the Vietnam War protesters who were welcome to settle in Sweden. The spin is terrific as Spiegel finds himself a stranger in a strange land with seemingly no way out of the hole he helped Aaronson dig him in. Elliot Krieger provides fans with a taut character driven thriller that never slows down as fans anticipate a showdown, but will wonder how can Spiegel make it happen.

Harriet Klausner

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