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The Chemist’s Shop
By Richard Brumer
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Length of Book: Approx 68,000 words/ 300 pages
Genre: Suspense thriller wrapped around a tender love story.
Richard Brumer grew up in the Bronx and now lives in Florida with his wife Carol. For many years his passions were skiing, sports car racing, and sailing, including sailing solo in the South Pacific. As a retired pharmacist, he turned his hand to writing and has written several novels and short stories.
Information about his work can be seen on his website: http://www.richardbrumer.com
Richard’s top Five Destinations…
Sailing solo in the South Pacific
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out…
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out…
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out…
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me…and there was no one left to speak for me.
—Martin Niemoller, Protestant pastor
The Chemist’s Shop, a novel by RICHARD BRUMER. It is a gripping psychological suspense thriller wrapped around a tender love story.
Pharmacology professor Michael Ross retires from the world of academia in 1970 and opens a community pharmacy in a peaceful upstate New York town. He puts the horrific tragedies of his past behind him and finds serenity in his new life. That is, until he recognizes a customer as former Nazi SS officer, Hans Stern.
Michael looks into Stern’s cold steel-blue eyes, clenches his fists and boils inside, remembering how his three young daughters were taken from him and gassed, and his wife, Ilona, was tortured, raped and stripped of all dignity by Stern, twenty-five years earlier in Auschwitz.
Face to face with this evil being, Michael forces himself to stay calm. In that moment, he experiences two opposing but related feelings. One is anger, the other exhilaration.
Michael could not protect his family then, but he can avenge their deaths now. It isn’t just about killing Stern. That would be too easy. His death has to be slow, painful, and diabolical, and it begins with a game of chess.
Available online from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Goodreads, and in Palm Beach County, FL public libraries
I’m sorry I wasn’t able to be with you for the past few days. The court case consumes me but being in jail doesn’t take me away from you, When I lost you and later learned you were in Paradise, I felt cursed by the distance between us. But now I feel blessed that I can enjoy the finer parts of our love that others with the privilege of nearness fail to notice.
Our minds and hearts are joined for all eternity, a gift perhaps few can share. Thank you so much for loving me and being my wife.
Miklos and Ilona protected their daughters from worry and harm so they could live in their sweet world of innocence. He was delighted to see his girls play dress-up as they danced around the house, like little ballerinas, to the music of Swan Lake. Little Eva was the best dancer of them all.
“Go, go, Eva,” he shouted and clapped with his hands over his head.
She turned and spun, like a prima ballerina, the star of the show. She had her own graceful style and expressed her emotions with her small, delicate hands, dancing and turning, with her arms arched above her. In his mind’s eye, Miklos saw her grown-up, in her ballet costume, on point and on stage.
The twins skipped and danced until they were breathless. They were all dressed up and fancy, painted with their mother’s makeup and wearing colorful outfits sewn together by Ilona from scraps of material. Roza and Magda had their own sense of grace. They lived in the moment, their moment, as they twirled their young bodies, attempted pirouettes, and leaped into the air.
Ilona turned toward Miklos and whispered in his ear, “When the girls are finished dancing, remind me to tell you something.”
“Tell me now.”
“No, it’s a surprise for the whole family.”
Magda’s excited cries interrupted them. “Look at me, look at me!” She skipped barefoot along the hardwood floor, spinning, turning and bowing to her audience.
“Wonderful!” Miklos shouted as he clapped in rhythm to the music.
“Look at me, too,” Roza yelled as she jumped up and down on the sofa.
Then little Eva caught her breath and performed her solo. “Look at me, Papa. I’m the swan queen.”
She twirled her young body around until she was dizzy, but continued to dazzle her audience. At the end of her dance, her black curls were wet with perspiration and she bowed to everyone as they applauded. Her eyes widened and sparkled when Miklos presented her with a red rose he had taken from Ilona’s birthday bouquet.
“Oh, Papa, thank you!” she said, taking in the delicate scent of the rose.
“You’re welcome, Eva. Every ballerina should have flowers when she takes her bows at the end of her performance.”
Miklos squeezed his wife’s hand. “Did you ever think that when our girls were born, they would provide us with so much entertainment?”
“Never,” Ilona said with tears of delight. “We were given a gift, a wonderful present,” she said, her dark-brown eyes glistening.
“We’re blessed,” he said with a deep sigh, but his thoughts were troubled.
“Will we be all right, Miklos?” Ilona asked. “I’m worried about the girls. They’re so young, just babies.”
“Everything will go well. I was a professor. The Nazis will show respect and find some use for me. We will be safe, Ilona. I promise you.”
Little Eva was out of breath. She sat on the couch, her chest heaving in and out, but Roza and Magda continued to dance with the little energy they had left. They loved each other in a special way, as twins do, but had distinctive personalities. Magda was a bit of a complainer, but good-natured. At the dinner table, she would scrutinize the food carefully and either eat it or give it a “yuck.” Her dream was to be a singer, and she constantly hummed and whistled her tunes. Roza was the resident introvert. She read books and loved to write poetry. She was sensitive, like her mother. Miklos thought that when his girls grew up, they would be a gift to the artistic world. They had so much ahead of them and were lucky to be at the beginning of their lives. The dancing and music continued. Everything will work out all right. He and Ilona continued to be an enthusiastic audience. They clapped and sang through their daughters performances.
The sound of marching boots and loud banging on the door brought the festivities to a halt.