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by Gunter Ohnemus
Bitter Lemon Press, October 2004
260 pages
ISBN: 1904738028

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Harry Willemer is man who lives for the day. On his 50th birthday he gave away all of his possessions, except for a begging bowl, and now spends his time driving a cab down the streets of Germany. He only takes what he needs for the day and the rest he gives away until the next day begins where he gets to repeat it all over again.

He is happy with this existence since it helps him exorcise his demons from the past. He does not look into the future, it is the present time that he is living in. All that will change once he picks up his next fare, a mystery woman -- THE RUSSIAN PASSENGER.

Sonia Kovalevskaya is on the run. She has quietly been amassing money from the mob where she has accumulated a substantial amount of cash. The day she got into Harry's cab was the day she had planned her escape. Now everybody is looking for her and demanding their money back.

Surprisingly to her, she confides in Harry after a series of deep, intellectual conversations they have during the drive. Harry decides to help her since he has nothing better to do and so begins an incredible journey where he gets to learn something new about himself.

Ohnemus' book is not only an entertaining road trip adventure novel, but also a sociological and psychological discussion between two countries dealing with their post-war history. Both Sonia and Harry have a healthy difference of opinion about Russian-German relations. The book also has some light moments between the two main characters as they get to know each other while running from the mob. Both of them are keeping busy outsmarting the bad guys, not knowing what tomorrow brings. It will all come to an end. It just will not be how they expected.

THE RUSSIAN PASSENGER is written in a journal-type format as things are seen through Willemer's eyes as he goes back and forth in time explaining how he became who he is. This work was a real surprise and an unexpected treat. It's a book that invites discussion and entertains as well. This book is worth the time.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, August 2005

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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