[FREE Book of the Day!] The Old Boys’ Club: An escalating series of murders thrusts amateur detectives on a chase to solve the mystery

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This complex murder-mystery novel weaves together a set of documents proving Hitler’s Jewish ancestry, a string of bizarre murders at an elite Pennsylvania college, the discovery of an esteemed American philanthropist’s shadowy past, ruthless doings at a Nazi concentration camp, a rocky love affair, and various underhanded manipulations by people seeking personal gain. Characters include a former concentration camp officer finding sanctuary in American academic circles, a most unusual college president, a baseball player turned historian, a state police detective, a female graduate student accused of misconduct, a sniper eliminating people on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a religious minister of doubtful integrity, several odd and pompous professors, and various personages, both fictional and real, who have significant roles in the Third Reich.

"The Old Boys’ Club" deals with a Nazi Prison camp guard named Walter Helfrick who comes into possession of explosive documents regarding Hitler’s birth. Worried that he will face prosecution for crimes against humanity with the approaching Allied victory, Helfrick uses the documents to blackmail Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler into arranging an escape route to America via submarine. Because the fanatic Himmler is obsessed with preserving the “purity” of Nazi ideology and will not tolerate blemishes involving Hitler’s image, he feels he has little choice but to accept Helfrick’s demands.

In America, Helfrick assumes a new identity and eventually takes a position at Ordway College, an elite institution located in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. His success is secure until historical research by a history professor working in the mid-1970s reveals that one of Ordway’s principal benefactors was a Nazi sympathizer who secretly performed services for the Reich. Helfrick, who had been helped by the very same benefactor, senses immediate danger when the professor promises more specific revelations to follow. There are also others who plague Helfrick, notably an SS zealot assigned by Himmler to retrieve the documents, the son of an Austrian Jew who gave the documents to Helfrick as a bribe to escape death at Auschwitz, and a young professor and a female graduate student who smell something rotten at Ordway and want to find out what it is.

Gruesome murders occur as Helfrick tries to eliminate his tormentors. The work is replete with twists and turns, false leads as to Helfrick's identity, sexual scandal, the appearance of a turnpike sniper who complicates matters, Simon Wiesenthal’s effort to retrieve the documents about Hitler, and pretentious professors seeking advantage over one another through devious manipulations.

Jim Rodechko's first mystery novel draws on his experience as a college history professor and passion for detective stories to creative a thrilling and suspense-filled novel. His reviews average 4.5 stars out of five. Here's what people are saying:

- Fascinating and complex plot with well developed characters. Could not put the book down. Highly recommend to adult readers and can't wait for Jim Rodechko's next book.

- Held my interest throughout. Accurate depiction of academia. Beautifully written. Amazing surprise ending.

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