Don’t Ever Get Old-Daniel Friedman

Don’t Ever Get Old

Daniel Friedman

Minotaur, May 22 2012, $24.99

ISBN: 9780312606930


Jim Wallace is dying at the MED geriatric ICU.  He asks octogenarian Buck Schatz to visit him though they were not friends even when they were incarcerated in a POW camp back in ‘44.  Buck’s wife of over six decades Rose makes him honor the dying man’s request.  Because he cannot drive that far, Jim’s daughter Emily Feely takes him.


Wallace tells him he saw camp commandant SS officer Heinrich Ziegler in France in 1946.  Schatz hated Ziegler who abused him for being Jewish and looked for the SOB after the war, but learned the Russians killed the Nazi.  However, Wallace says he accepted a gold bar to let the man go.  He begs Buck to forgive him, but instead Schatz tells him to enjoy hell; Wallace dies immediately before Buck leaves.


Buck plans to return to daytime TV, but apparently Emily, her husband Norris, and a horde of others know what Wallace told Buck and assume he will go after the Nazi and the gold.  As those with an interest begin to die, Buck decides he better get involved before someone comes after him or Rose; he drafts his NYU law student grandson Billy to help him find Ziegler.


Mindful of Mike Befeler’s octogenarian Paul Jacobson Geezer-mysteries (see Retirement Homes Are Murder); this is a terrific geriatric noir.  The key is the protagonist suffers from memory loss and a ton of physical ailments but retains his witty sense of humor as he and his sidekick end in one jam after another.  Fast-paced Daniel Friedman makes a strong case that revenge may be a dish served cold but it still served even after six decades of being dormant.


Harriet Klausner


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