Double Cross by Nicholas Woodsworth, a Book Review
Few books capture my attention in the first paragraph, but Double Cross: The Second Crucifixion of Solomon Lunel certainly did. At almost 90 years old, Solomon Lunel prepared his Shabbat eve meal of aioli paired with Provençal rosé, evoking memories of his days in Marseille as a younger man. He shared the supper with his son, David, a routine they had followed on Friday nights for years. With dinner finished, Solomon Lunel headed to the Lunel Foundation in Jerusalem, as this was his routine.
However, that was the end of predictability! Double Cross: The Second Crucifixion of Solomon Lunel shifts the reader between desperate WWII refugees and scenes of Marseille at that time and present-day politics and intrigue in Israel.
About the Author
Born in Canada’s national capital, Ottawa, Nicholas Woodsworth grew up in a Canadian diplomatic family that often moved to New York, Saigon, Cape Town, and Addis Ababa destinations. Settling in Provence in his twenties, he became a foreign correspondent and staff travel writer for the London Financial Times. He was also the Financial Times Africa Correspondent in the early 1990s. As the Weekend FT’s staff travel writer (for 14 years), Woodsworth’s stories frequently carried the Middle East and Mediterranean datelines. He is married and lives in Aix-en-Provence, and has published several books.
Reminders of both World Wars lie everywhere in Provence. His wife’s family history incited his interest in Vichy, France. While some of her family members participated actively in the ‘Maquis’ -resistance groups who took to the hills -not all survived Nazi retribution. It is from such a searing experience that the drama of Double Cross is drawn.
Solomon Lunel is the elderly patriarch of a prominent family in Jerusalem. Despite his advanced age, or because of it, the founder of the Lunel Foundation is assisting his son David in pursuing his political ambitions. However, on the fateful Friday night, the older man is caught off guard and raised on a cross by a mysterious assailant and left in that position for discovery. Dr. Noor is called to the foundation the following day to help with an urgent matter. Dr. Noor, a guest lecturer on global justice issues, finds himself pulled into this bizarre situation and tasked with solving the mystery.
Marseille was Solomon Lunel’s home, and during the war years, he helped Jewish refugees find visas and secure transport from the gritty port city to places deemed safer. While Lunel’s intentions were sincere, he did take payment for his work in many forms, including artwork. This commercial exchange caught the attention of an astute German officer stationed in Marseille. They worked in a quasi-partnership, but while Lunel grew increasingly concerned about the arrangement, he was in too deep.
Double Cross: The Second Crucifixion of Solomon Lunel is filled with
intrigue, shady characters, and enough parallels to authentic events in both Marseille and Israel that the book is hard to put down.
Where to Buy it
Who Should Read the book? Anyone who loves a good mystery and a bit of history has travelled to Marseille or Jerusalem. Double Cross: The Second Crucifixion of Solomon Lunel is available on Amazon in kindle and paperback versions.
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