Berlinby Pierre Frei
Set in a devastated Berlin one month after the close of the Second World War, Berlin has been acclaimed as “ambitious . . . filled with brilliantly drawn characters, mesmerizingly readable, and disturbingly convincing” by the Sunday Telegraph. An electrifying thriller in the tradition of Joseph Kanon and Alan Furst, Berlin is a page-turner/i>/i>
Set in a devastated Berlin one month after the close of the Second World War, Berlin has been acclaimed as “ambitious . . . filled with brilliantly drawn characters, mesmerizingly readable, and disturbingly convincing” by the Sunday Telegraph. An electrifying thriller in the tradition of Joseph Kanon and Alan Furst, Berlin is a page-turner and an intimate portrait of Germany before, during, and after the war. It is 1945 in the American sector of occupied Berlin, and a German boy has discovered the body of a beautiful young woman in a subway station. Blonde and blue-eyed, she has been sexually assaulted and strangled with a chain. When the bodies of other young women begin to pile up it becomes clear that this is no isolated act of violence, and German and American investigators will have to cooperate if they are to stop the slaughter. Author Pierre Frei has searched the wreckage of Berlin and emerged with a gripping whodunit in which the stories of the victims themselves provide an absorbing commentary. There is a powerful pulse buried deep in the rubble.
A satisfying cross-genre novel that has elements of historical fiction, suspense, and a tinge of romance. A sexual sadist is roaming the streets of Berlin during the post-World War II occupation, killing blond-haired, blue-eyed young women by torturing them. After each victim is found, Frei tells the story of her life before and during the war. The victims had a wide variety of experiences during the conflict and primarily represent Germans not involved in the Nazi party. The structure of the novel allows readers an interlude before returning to the investigation and murders. This is not a book for the fainthearted, and it is more appropriate for public libraries than for schools. However, teens will enjoy the novel, particularly those searching for earthy details of both war and violent crime. While not graphic, the sexual encounters are described in strong language. The pacing is good, and once involved in the story it is difficult to put it down. There are plenty of twists and turns, and a surprise assailant. The historical elements are compelling, particularly the division of Berlin and the relationships among the occupiers and the Germans. The weakest portion of the novel is the investigation itself, which relies on coincidence and luck for the eventual solution.
Mary Ann HarlanCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
- Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
- Age Range:
- 14 - 18 Years
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I love a good storyteller. The plot in this book is utterly insignificant to the story itself. You will meet five women who are smart, sexy, witty and inventive survivors while at the same time giving you a feel for what it was like to be a German living in Berlin during the period from about 1933 to 1945. I wish I could have met five more. You will also follow a young conniving teen obsessed with two objects of his desire. This is a book for that long cross country plan ride, that rainy or snowed in weekend. Relax settle back and enjoy. This is not a heavy, mysterious or cumbersome read. This is escapism. Lose yourself in this book and you will thoroughly enjoy the time spent.
I found the book to be totally captivating. It is not just a who donit, but a story of the women who were murdered. It gave character and humanity to them they were not just victims. I enjoyed it thoroughly and have recommeded the book to many of my patrons.
It has been awhile since I have read this book, maybe 7 years, but it's a book I still think about. The story caught me from the beginning and never let go. I enjoy historical fiction, especially WWll stories but this gave such a unique encounter. Each story was intriguing in its own right. I recommend if you enjoy a good murder mystery that holds your attention till the bitter end.
The author is indeed talented creating his characters. Loved learning about each one but then they each would get brutally killed for no rhyme or reason. The same theme followed throughout the whole entire book. Too bad he did not take just one or two of the characters and create a "whole" story about their lives. Would have loved to read a coherent story about these people's lives back then because this writer is really a good writer! I was disappointed and would not recommend this book to anyone. Sorry.
Excellent mystery by a fine writer LLL
Excellent. Grabs your attention right from the start and doesn't let you go. The description of post war Berlin mixed with investigators'search for a serial killer makes this definitely worth reading.