Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
The Air Raid Killer (Max Heller, Dresden Detective) Hardcover – May 1, 2018
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
About the Author
Frank Goldammer was born in Dresden and is an experienced professional painter as well as a novelist. The Air Raid Killer is his first crime novel translated from German. He’s a single father of twins and lives with his family in his hometown. Visit him at www.frank-goldammer.de.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Max Heller is a police detective trying to make it through the hardships at the end of the war when the first murder occurs. Working under dreadful conditions, dealing with a suspicious Nazi supervisor, and with no help because most of the police force has been called up or assigned elsewhere, Max investigates. He is warned off the case, but he's unable to let it go.
Max is a good man surrounded by the insanity of the third Reich, but to keep doing what he's doing seems awfully foolhardy to me. While I suppose it's possible that he would continue to investigate, even while Dresden is going up in flames all around him, but it seems unlikely. And that made the story seem unrealistic, at least to me.
Results: an interesting story, a disturbing serial killer, and a look from inside Germany at the fall of the Third Reich. There weren't any graphic scenes of sex or violence, so I'd give this a PG rating.
In the city of Dresden, Germany, as the winter of 44-45 set in, masses of desperate refugees from the east began overwhelming the local authorities, rations grew scarcer and the Soviet Red Army advanced ever closer. As 1945 began, many clung to the belief that the city would remain untouched, but that confidence was shattered in February, when British and American bombers dropped an unyielding assault that eradicated most of the city and killed up to twenty-five thousand people in just seventy-two hours. In the weeks leading up to this tragic event, as the multitudes of men, women and children huddled in the shelters during the air raids, someone could have walked those abandoned streets─someone malevolent, with the intent to harm others─someone like the one they called the “Fright Man”.
Detective Inspector Max Heller has already seen the ravages of war first hand, having been on the front lines of the first one. He doesn’t buy into Hitler’s vision of a new Germany, but like so many others, must remain quiet in his beliefs. In another life, the hard-working and morally flawless detective would have been a Chief Detective, but instead answers to a young fanatic many years his junior. When a young nurse is brutally murdered, Heller begins his investigation. Another victim shortly follows. Soon, the whole town is buzzing with rumors of the dreaded “Fright Man” whom hunts his victims in the dark of night. Committed to stopping a killer that is terrorizing the town of Dresden, Heller will stop at nothing until justice is served.
A vividly descriptive war-torn Germany is the back-drop of this unique historical thriller. The worst of times in Dresden, the author captures both the physical and emotional suffering of those who experienced it. Complete with a fully interesting and well-rounded cast, the lead protagonist is an easily relatable hero, while the antagonist is a very complicated character study. Despite a bit of emotional dryness at times─most likely due to cultural differences─THE AIR RAID KILLER maintains a constant pace, steady suspense, and an action-packed climax sure to surprise. A well-written thriller that promises unexpected twists and turns, amongst rich and heart-wrenching historical drama.
~ Kris Miller, TopShelf Reviews
The other reason was that the read was an interesting history about the damage to Dresden during WW II. I’ve not been to Dresden, but I suspect the areas of the city destroyed by Allied bombing was accurate. The author is a native of that City. What was informational was how the local populace put up with the extreme degradation caused by the bombing in their pursuit of daily living needs. This total disruption of daily living was amplified by the Nazis aim and then again following the occupation by the Russian army.
Most of my reading of the war in Europe has been on the role of the military. The story line of this book was largely absent in that regard, focusing instead on the cultural history of the city and the people that lived there during that time.
I don’t retell story lines in my reviews, but suffice it to say, the plot was very well detailed in the name of the chief protagonist, Detective Inspector Max Heller’s pursuit of a serial killer. Character development was well done, of both the German and Russian antagonists. The former in an effort to thwart the search for the killer and the latter in its respect to aid the search, albeit perhaps for an ulterior reason.
The rising action was continuous (and somewhat scary) right to the bitter end! I was not able to determine the ID of the killer, as is the case in some whodunnits. The story line in that vein was very well disguised.
I understand this is a first effort by this author. I applaud his effort and would look forward to more books by him in the future.
Top international reviews
The writer paints a graphic and often horrifically vivid pictutre of Dresden during this part of the war. I must admit that I have probably never really considered what it must have been really like for people the world over and the suffering they endured and this book certainly gave me a different perspective. The hunt for a crazed killer amoungst all of the chaos is certainly no easy task, with no one to trust and his life under threat at every turn Max Heller faces the challenge of his life.
A gripping book, atmospheric and will transport you to another place in time x
The author creates a compelling narrative with numerous twists and turns, people who are hero and villain in the turn of a page.
You can see tha initial steps of the Gestapo morphing into the Stasi and the tyranical regimes resemblances.
The characters are sympathetic ,well rounded, and believeable , the story tight and fast paced, I am giving no spoilers.
I have allready ordered in advance the next book in the series.
Buy this book,it is worth the small cost.
Max Heller is a detective inspector in the local police. He’s investigating the murders of hospital nurses. He’s thwarted by the Red Army’s occupation of Dresden and his own supervisory officer. Heller is assisted by a doctor. There is a Fright Man; some sort of mad individual who may be a folk tale legend or a man responsible for the killings.
There’s a particularly horrendous air raid which raises Dresden to the ground making any investigation difficult (at this point the plot gets ridiculous) Hellor is forever scrambling over ruins, day in day out- monotonous. He is helped to a degree by a Russian officer.
There are far too many unhinged characters and other named characters that the storyline becomes confusing and absurd. Those readers with a knowledge of Dresden will be able to visualise all the described locations. Endless descriptions of rocks, cellars, mud, burning, going from one end of the city to another with difficulty adds nothing since the ‘same old’ is often repeated.
The final revelations are unbelievable and test the intelligence. Not recommended.
The murders that form the other theme of the book ,act as a reminder of the atrocities that were committed under Nazi rule. So it is not a relaxing read but very worthwhile.
It's a gritty detective story set in the last days of an almost defeated Third Reich. Max Heller is a detective investigating a particularly brutal murder. Two murders. Three. The body count is rising. Slightly dwarfed by the 25,000+ who died in the bombing. But Heller can't do anything about that.
He can chase the murderer - first under the Nazis, then under the Soviets. He does, implacably hunting the killer.
The fascination of this book is in the description of Dresden and its inhabitants. Yes, it's a detective story, but most could be set anywhere - Dortmund or Dagenham or Dushanbe. This book could only be Dresden in February 1945
The hunt for a sadistic serial killer sees Heller, not only faced with the daunting task of finding a seemingly mythical monster but also fighting the brutal hierarchy of his superiors in the SS and finally the equally brutal victorious Russians.
Heller's struggles as he pursues the Fright Man exposes the humanity of a decent man adrift in a world where murder and cruelty are the casual currency of everyday existence.
An excellent debut and a series to follow.
When the British and Allies bomb Dresden and almost completely flatten it,Max Heller continues to pursue the murderer.
The Russians take charge and are brutal. One young Russian officer helps Heller to find the murderer. Exciting conclusion.
I won't go into the plot since others have already mentioned. The author is from Dresden, while most of the readers are not, so this strasse or that strasse will be lost on most. Nevertheless, a good first novel that is easy to read. The characters, in the main, are not fully developed, so I would not describe the plot as enthralling, but I finished the book, which I can't say for many.