Illusions chronicles the struggle of the fictional Kaufmann family to survive the Second World War.
Thrust unwillingly into an American justice system turned upside down, the Holocaust and the plot to kill Hitler, they react from a sense of duty (patriotism) and the confidence that experience will see them through.
Instead, they discover at every turn they must outwit determined enemies and face the truth of maddening Illusions.
FROM THE BOOK: 'He finds Kretschmann, shot through the left temple, and a shivering, whimpering boy who can’t be more than eleven or twelve. The shock of seeing his dead comrade along with the smell of feces and urine, unloosed in death by Kretschmann, tear at his senses. The boy wears a tattered uniform, if it can be called that, about two sizes too large for his slender frame. Tears mixed with mucous from his nose run in rivulets down his grimy cheeks and lips and drip from his quaking chin ... Gathering himself, he turns to comfort the lad just as Pavlichenko’s 7.62 x 54R round finds the boy’s left eye, blasts away the back of his skull and buries itself in the indifferent earth behind.'
Stephen Fox's Infamy! cleverly mixes fact and fiction to bring us the inside story of the days leading to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
We are introduced to the Steiners, a real life ex-pat German family living in Honolulu, a family with the familiar stresses and foibles common to family life.
What are the Steiners up to? — Amazon
Infamy! is the story of a greedy family’s ‘Faustian bargain’ and its consequences world-wide. It is a fictional version of the colossal intelligence and investigative failures that drew the United States into World War II.
The story is based on actual events. The family at the center of the tale is real.‘Infamy!’ belonged not simply to President Franklin Roosevelt’s call for a war declaration. The 'infamous' that Fall were legion.
FROM THE BOOK: "Abruptly, the scratching and clanking of the key to his isolation cell jolts Steiner from his reverie. Hungry, exhausted, bewildered and emotionally drained, he slowly hauls himself to his feet and capitulates to the two soldiers who handcuff and half drag him to the familiar interrogation room. They pass cell after cell of young men, presumably soldiers. He has no idea how long he has been in this place. He figures they question him at least once a day, maybe more, so it has been several days. Maybe He’s lost count.
The guards deposit him roughly onto a metal folding chair. A bright light blinds him. He has lain in semi darkness for hours on a thin, blue-striped mattress infested with bed bugs. He squints, wanting to rub his watery, itchy eyes, but his hands are cuffed behind the chair, tugging at his shoulder joints. He squirms, seeking relief from the searing pain and light, trying to rub his eyes on his shoulders.
“All this because I needed money,' he moans."