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Crawl Space by Edie Meidav
In Crawl Space, Emile Poulquet is an 84-year old man standing trial for war crimes in Paris. He was Prefect in the town of Finier in the Pyrenees during World War II and his job was to send local Jews to the Nazi concentration camps. Poulquet escapes charges because plastic surgeries have made him unrecognizable to his victims. He makes his way back to Finier to deliver his last will and testament to Arianne, a woman with whom he's been obsessed most of his life. She was the wife of the French Resistance leader in the region, and she's now organized an event of remembrance in honor of her husband and victims of the war. Poulquet watches many of the people he sent away return to Finier, including his childhood friend. He feels no guilt for his role in the war, using his anti-Semitism as an excuse for necessary actions to preserve France during a complicated time. His memories of the war-time years are fresh in his mind as he readies for his final meeting with Arianne. Edie Meidav's novel has received mixed reviews with the San Francisco Chronicle saying, "Despite its flaws, Meidav's novel demonstrates her considerable gifts as a stylist; there's not a false note in the prose, and those who relish fine writing, as well as anyone interested in European history, will find much to admire in Crawl Space."