Günter Ohnemus. The Russian Passenger (2004) 260 pp. [tpo]
The story of Harry Willemer, a loner Munich taxi driver who picks up a beautiful Russian named Sonia Kovalevskaya. She is an ex-KGB agent and wife of a Russian Mafioso who is on her way to Luxembourg to collect the four million dollars she stole from her husband’s “Firm.” Harry, who is still haunted by the death of his young daughter twenty-two years ago, offers to drive her all the way to the money. On the run from hit-men that Sonia’s husband sends after her—and then the German police after a couple of Russians end up dead—they make their way through Germany, France, and Italy. They eventually land in San Francisco in this tale of angst, redemption, murder, desperate love, and the cruel history that binds Russia and Germany. (Originally published: Riese in die Angst. Munich: Droemer, 2002; 303 pp. Translated from the German by John Brownjohn.)