World War II is over, and former German intelligence officer Captain Gregor Reinhardt has returned to Berlin. He’s about to find that the bloodshed has not ended — and that for some, death is better than defeat.
A year after Germany’s defeat, Reinhardt has been hired back onto Berlin’s civilian police force. The city is divided among the victorious allied powers, tensions are growing, and the police are riven by internal rivalries as factions within it jockey for power and influence with Berlin’s new masters.
When a man is found slain in a broken-down tenement, Reinhardt embarks on a gruesome investigation. It seems a serial killer is on the loose, and matters only escalate when it’s discovered that one of the victims was the brother of a Nazi scientist.
Reinhardt’s search for the truth takes him across the divided city and soon embroils him in a plot involving the Western Allies and the Soviets. And as he comes under the scrutiny of a group of Germans who want to continue the war — and faces an unwanted reminder from his own past — Reinhardt realises that this investigation could cost him everything as he pursues a killer who believes that all wrongs must be avenged…
The Ashes of Berlin is the third book to feature former German intelligence officer Captain Gregor Reinhardt. I haven't read the others and found that this read well as a standalone with just enough of the back story present. However I most certainly will be going back and reading the other two.
This is a difficult book to review because I really don't want to give to much of the plot away, this is something to be savoured by each individual reader, so I will keep it brief. It is post World War Two and Reinhardt is back on the police force and is investigating suspicious deaths. A position that could potentially put him grave danger.
The author has managed to capture a Berlin at a time when tensions were rife, everybody was unsettled and full of mistrust. Divisions amongst society still exist, for some the war isn't over.
Reinhardt is excellently written and a perfectly drawn protagonist in the telling of this story, a character not without his faults and flaws, I liked him very much. Whilst full of mystery and intrigue and all the things that keep me entertained as a reader it is the characterisations that really make this story come alive.
Excellently and meticulously researched and full of atmosphere, The Ashes of Berlin is a compelling and complex read. It really was a rewarding experience to read. This story has an excellent plot line and is a realistic and absorbing read. It doesn't go along at a hurtling pace but is more of a simmering plot that allows the palpable tension to breath of off every page.
Really recommend this one.
About the Author:
Luke McCallin was born in 1972 in Oxford, grew up in Africa, went to school around the world and has worked with the United Nations as a humanitarian relief worker and peacekeeper in the Caucasus, the Sahel, and the Balkans. His experiences have driven his writing, in which he explores what happens to normal people - those stricken by conflict, by disaster - put under abnormal pressures. He lives with his wife and two children in an old farmhouse in France in the Jura Mountains. He has a master's degree in political science, speaks French, and can just get by in Russian. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys reading history, playing the drums, and heading into the mountains for a run.
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