The Last Witness
Jerry Amernic’s gripping historical thriller The Last Witness has an intriguing framing narrative set not in the past but in the future: the year 2039, when Jack Fisher, age 100, is the last living survivor of the Holocaust. When he was just a boy, he lost his family in the Auschwitz concentration camp and was forced to scramble in order to survive. At the time the story opens, these memories are now far in the past, but they suddenly become relevant again when Jack becomes the key figure in a missing-persons case when his granddaughter disappears.
Amernic expertly juxtaposes a future that seems both uninformed and uninterested in the past with a past brought vividly to life with well-researched details, squarely tackling such issues as anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial while also crafting in interesting plot-driven dilemma in Jack’s “present.” The seemingly disparate plot threads are woven together in the end into a very satisfying dramatic payoff.