Perfect for killing time

Perfect for killing time

This book Six Graves to Munich is, in fact, written by the very man who gave us The Godfather, and other great works of crime stories related to the mafiadom. Puzo’s typical style is visible throughout in this cat-and-mouse revenge thriller. The only difference is that Puzo, back in 1967, had written this book under a pseudonym.

Six Graves To Munich is set in post World War II. It fundamentally revolves around a man’s endless resolve and lustful thirst to have his revenge — a call he must fulfill  for clearing the haunting memories of torture his tormentors had inflicted on him and his family.

Michael Rogan, then a young and intelligent American secret service agent with his wife, was ruthlessly tormented by Nazi officers and left to die, but he somehow escaped, alive. In order to avenge his wife and his own never failing memory he tracks down seven of his tormentors after the war ended. All the former Nazi officers have taken up new professions and some of them are now protected by the law as they have risen up to respectable positions. Rogan himself is also a successful businessman now, but he never fails to update himself with the lives of his hit list. Ultimately Rogan tracks down all of them and then kills them one by one.

Though Six Graves To Munich is a story with a predictable climax, the emotional narratives pouring out from Puzo about his characters are intense and the desperation  in them to have their ways are good enough to keep the pages turning. One simply couldn’t get enough of the twists and turns. The straightforward plot flows like a stream unhindered by unnecessary ‘dams’ and self-indulgence.

Published a year before he completed The Godfather, Six Graves To Munich is definitely a bestseller and a reader’s delight. It comes with all the ingredients of Puzo’s books. The descriptive brutality scenes and cruising around Europe certainly appeal to readers who would love thrilling exercises. The details are vividly gruesome.

The love angle Puzo inserts into the revengeful man’s life also makes Six Graves To Munich relying on the old machination to keep a certain section of Mills and Boon readers glued to the book. However, Rosalie’s life is also a story of struggle and she rightly encourages Rogan to fulfill the task he set out for. Puzo gives her such a life that we can’t blame her for being such a cold-hearted woman. The setting is well cemented in this sense.

Puzo is no more, but this book brings him back from the cold graves to entertain his fans with such a simplistic yet engrossing chronicle. Six Graves to Munich is the kind of book you would like to finish in one go. It is light reading and perfect for killing time.

“... Rogan shook his head and fumbled with his wallet. He spread a sheaf of bills on the bed and said, “I am buying you for the night. Pull down your shade.” Isn’t that inviting enough?

Six Graves To Munich
Mario Puzo
pp 256, Rs 399