April Fool

A pril Taub is no-one’s nice Jewish girl. Although it is the 1960’s,Vietnam is still not much more than a dark twinkle in Robert Menzies’ eye and April doesn’t give a flying fundament about peace, pot or flower-power

Givento over-indulgence in sex, smoked salmon on rye, vodka, Marlboro Reds and anguish, this daughter of Holocaust survivors has a day-job as a journalist and moonlights as a covert hunter of Nazi war-criminals.

She unwittingly sleeps with the enemy and blows her own cover, placing her entire organization at risk. Now she is forced to choose between a witness protection program or taking on a new identity which will enable her to infiltrate the black society of her adversaries. Out in the field, she stumbles onto a nationwide conspiracy of people-trafficking and the concealment of unspeakable war crimes.

With the help of a trainer from hell she undergoes an extreme makeover, loses serious poundage, crops her waist-length hair, and becomes an expert in small-arms and hand-to-hand combat. Then she is sent into battle by cynical superiors who do not really expect her to survive. She confounds their expectations, entering a very dark world. Years ago, her mother and baby brother were murdered in that world and she refuses to believe that vengeance is a dirty word.

On the back of a Harley that belongs to the enemy who initially seduced her, April is plunged into an escapade that takes her on a sinister odyssey across the Australian continent and deep into her own psyche. Can she bear the discoveries she makes about her country and her own shadow identity? Both hide secrets it might have been easier to ignore

Then she loses the two men she believes she loves most in the world. One dies at the hands of the Nazis; the other betrays her with such exquisite sophistication that she is forced to take on the very characteristics of her foes if ever she hopes not just to defeat them, but to survive

Journalist April is an underground Nazi hunter, working for a shadowy private agency that tracks down war criminals… April is a memorable creation, full of scorching cynicism, fond of indulging — ciggies, drink and sex — and wracked by guilty fury handed down by her dysfunctional Holocaust-survivor parents… Fein is an adventurous stylist, switching between pithy action action-driven narration, April’s scorching slant on the world and memory laden reflections on rage and vengeance.

Andres Kabel, Sunday Age

Taub’s chase is not a romantic travelogue, but the hard, lonesome clutter of a ripping, nervy novel.

Peter Kohn, Australian Jewish News

… a welcome and worthy entry into the pantheon of crime fiction… a darned fine thriller driven by a complex and appealing central character.

Michael Jacobson , Gold Coast Bulletin

Fein’s style is punchy. This is taut and feisty writing suffused by a crisp, dry-to-withering wit. April is the mistress of snappy one-liners and some delightful turns of idiomatic phrase. ‘This is a tightly plotted and twisting tale packed full of danger, suspense, kidnapping, murder, double-agents, mistaken identities, a love too late realised and a commando-style make-over. In short, April Fool is un-put-downable.

Shane Rowlands, Courrier Mail

"I read "April Fool" very quickly, or rather I devoured it. I was picked up and swept along by the frenetic pace of the narrative."
"Yvonne draws upon many streams and many themes in building up an action-packed contemporary, locally based, thriller which holds your interest so that you can't wait to turn the page to see what's going to happen next. What these streams and themes disclose is an abiding passion and commitment of Yvonne to Jewishness, female consciousness, Australianness and her keen eye for what has been an active issue in contemporary debate for the last 15 years - has Australia been a haven or safe house for alleged Nazi war criminals?"
"What I found particularly enjoyable about the book was its setting in Sydney and Melbourne and then Kangaroo Island and finally the outback and central and desert Australia. An Australian setting for sure but a setting nevertheless for an international universal morality play."

Justice Alan Goldberg QC: (z”l)