Sam Bourne’s new novel begins with the accidental shooting of an elderly Englishman, Gerald Merton, who is mistaken for a terrorist as he walks onto the grounds of the UN in New York. The UN then hires ex-employee-now-wealthy-lawyer Tom Byrne to travel to England and hush up the incident by paying off the old man’s daughter, Rebecca. But shortly after Byrne arrives in England, Rebecca’s house is sacked and Byrne gets sucked into a mystery when Rebecca hires him to find out about her father and the people he secretly worked with. He soon finds that Merton was actually Gershon Matzkin, a Lithuanian survivor of the Holocaust and a member of a secret society of Nazi hunters and assassins, active ever since the end of World War II.
The rest of the book follows Byrne as he learns about the Nazi hunter’s past and tries to figure out who Merton was looking for in the UN building when he died. The trail eventually leads back to New York and right into the offices of the most powerful players in world politics. Bourne juggles several plots and dozens of characters with ease in The Final Reckoning, and the reader is never lost among the names, time periods, or characters’ motivations. The story of Merton/Matzkin’s life as a young, Jewish resistance fighter during WWII is especially well-researched and chillingly real. In fact, Bourne’s searing descriptions of the Holocaust dominate this book and make the modern, fictitious story of The Final Reckoning seem a bit inconsequential by comparison.