Passports are big business in Istanbul. Thanks to Vlad Tepes for this gem.
The late Elliot West’s first published novel, Man Running, told the story of a passport loaned to a former German Wermacht Officer, who has it altered and doesn’t return it to its owner. Of course, in post WWII Europe forged passports were pretty valuable commodities, especially for fugitive German Officers. They still are, especially if you’re a Muslim eager to disguise yourself as a Syrian refugee on his way to partake of the largesse of Angela Merkel’s Germany – oh, yes, and Islamize Europe.
Here’s part of the text of my review of Elliot West’s thriller. And it is a thriller:
Ben Dana is living in post World War II Spain. He’s had a pretty interesting life. He’s a freelance writer, a news reporter of sorts, a journalist. He used to teach his craft part time at a New York university. He fought in the Spanish Civil War.
But, Ben has a few rather large problems. He’s divorced, having found his wife in bed with a man named Mitchell, who was once Dana’s friend and colleague. He’s down and out financially. He’s having a very tough time finding a job. With his funds running down to nearly zero, life isn’t looking too promising. At the moment he can’t even find a cheap hotel room.
Then he meets Igor Steck, a former Wermacht general who fled across the border from France to Spain at the end of the War. Sensing Dana’s vulnerability, Steck befriends him and arranges for a hotel room.
Igor Steck has a couple of big problems, too. Yes, he has a stunningly beautiful lady named Soledad. But by virtue of being a fugitive German military commander, he is trapped in Madrid. He needs a passport to travel to Paris, where he intends to recover a stash of precious gems he buried as the German Army retreated from France. He believes it’s the only way he’ll be able to hang onto Soledad, who’s growing very restless in their relationship.
So, Steck offers the destitute, desperate Ben Dana a proposition. In exchange for the use of Dana’s passport, he’ll split the cash that will be generated by the sale of the jewels. Dana agrees, on the condition that he gets to hold onto Soledad’s passport as insurance that Steck will return to Madrid. After all, a man in post-WWII Europe without a passport was as good as dead, figuratively speaking.
The deal is struck and Steck takes off for Paris with Dana’s passport. But he doesn’t come back. Thrown together by the circumstances, Dana and Soledad become passionate lovers without a future. Dana, sans passport, will never be able to move about freely. He’ll have to live in perpetual hiding. Discovery by the Spanish authorities will mean arrest and eventual deportation.
So, Dana decides to go to Paris to hunt down the former general and reclaim his identity. It’s a perilous, intriguing adventure, with the danger of capture and prison ever present. Without a passport, he’s fair game to be arrested if he’s caught sneaking across the border, or asked to identify himself anywhere. The plot becomes more and more intense as Ben Dana runs, both from the police and in his pursuit of Igor Steck.