This historical thriller had a slow start but it eventually hooked me. Glad I hung in there, because I enjoyed it.
I was possibly expecting too much from this book when I started it and ended up being quite disappointed by it.
Willi Kraus is a famous detective in the Berlin police force at the end of 1932. When a young woman with inexplicably deformed legs is washed up of the banks of the Havel River, Willi takes the lead in the murder investigation. When a politically sensitive missing person case is also added to his case load Willi must find out why beautiful young women are sleepwalking their way into oblivion. With the Nazi Party becoming increasingly dominant and the Weimar Republic waning in power, Willi must be careful not to become a victim himself as it is becoming ever more dangerous to be Jewish in Berlin.
There were several things that bothered me about this book, a few of the characters were irritating, most notably the prostitute Paula. It felt like they all could have done with a little more complexity or explanation or something to make them more engaging. The writing was lacking, I can't quite put my finger on why but it was and the end of the book.....I couldn’t wait for it to end, it seemed to take forever to wrap up the story once the mystery was solved.
The history was this books saving grace. I loved it and from the bits and pieces I researched it seemed quite accurate and very disturbing. It was a great city and era to set a murder mystery in.
Rather conflicted about this book. I enjoyed it, but it feels like my enjoyment was due to knowing what was to come - rise of the Nazis and all that. The writing is choppy, reads like it was translated by Google from German, though no indication that it was originally written in language, makes me suspect that the author was trying a bit too hard. And although we all know of the horrors to come, the plot feels rather contrived and over the top. I'll read others in this series though (already read "Children of Wrath") mostly to see what happens next.
Surprise find from a new mystery author. Main character was the Berlin's Chief Detective who was a WWI hero and a Jew. He and his loyal friends were investigating missing women but discovered horrid medical experiments on humans by Nazi doctors in the 1930's. Great narrative on sights and scenes of old Berlin in that era ... at least very credible for this reader,
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