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|Print List Price:||$20.99|
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Ruin Value: A Mystery of the Third Reich Kindle Edition
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“An intricately plotted, gracefully written, and totally immersive read.” —Library Journal on The Silence
“[Jones] smoothly blends a compelling period whodunit with bountiful cultural and social details.” —Publishers Weekly on Requiem in Vienna
“Top-notch detecting and characterizations bolster the intricate plot.” —Publishers Weekly on The Keeper of Hands
From the Publisher
- ASIN : B00ETR2WMY
- Publisher : MysteriousPress.com/Open Road (October 1, 2013)
- Publication date : October 1, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 3296 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 426 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1784085898
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,117,008 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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"Ruin Value" is set in 1945 Nuremberg, right as the War Trials are set to begin. The city, mightily destroyed during the war by Allied bombing, is home to a variety of people - from wealthy women living in the untouched suburbs - to street people, living in and among the ruins, and eking out a difficult survival by begging and foraging, working the active market and selling their bodies to Allied soldiers occupying the town. It seems as if everyone has a "side" activity and people turn up wanted by the police and Occupying Powers for many different reason. In November, people start turning up dead, their throats slashed. It's a wide variety of people, too, everyone from soldiers, black marketeers, a woman in town to work at the Trials, and others. The murders take place every three days and the murderer leaves a set of clues at each murder site.
Two cops - one American, a former OSS agent - and a German cop are teamed together to solve the crimes. There are the usual unusual alliances between victims and suspects and many people are not who they are depicted as. The murders get solved, eventually, and here - SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT - is the problem with "Ruin Value". J Sydney Jones pulls his punches with his story line. It's the old "no one really important to the plot can be badly harmed, let alone killed". And this makes the ending unrealistic - though most murder mysteries are unrealistic - and is done either because the author wants to reuse the characters in another novel or he just doesn't have the heart or the nerve to make tough choices in the plot. Now, I see no indication that "Ruin Value" is book one in a series, so it means - to me - that Jones chickens out in the plot.
I did enjoy the book when I was reading it and I would welcome a return look at Captain Nathan Morgan and his German police partner. Jones is the author of a series of book set in Vienna in the late 1800's that are well written. He's also the author of a new stand-alone, "The Edit", which I thought was terrific. He pulled no punches in "The Edit" and the book was the better for it. I just wish this book were a bit better...
The weakest part of the story centers around Kay, the female interest. We are told a lot about her privileged background, but not a lot about her. Morgan quickly falls for her, but we don't know why. And this woman, who has been given a coveted position in covering the Nuremberg War Trials for a magazine, turns out to be a dim bulb. Author Jones knows how to write male characters, but comes up short on the women. If a man, whom you do not know, stuck his hand up your dress, would you reply: "Excuse me, sir! What do you think you are doing?" Not once, but twice? After slugging the guy, my follow-up would be, "I hope that hurt." Despite the flaws, it's a decent read, especially if you enjoy books about post-WWII Germany.
I really liked the characters, and I am hoping this is the first of series. I have not read any other books by this author, but I did read he has another series, so again, hoping this a first in a new series. I liked the beginning friendship between the American officer and the former German policeman. The romance between the officer and reporter needed some work, but it too, could be developed nicely.
I was interested in this book because of the premise and the time period, and the author really used the setting in a good way, almost as another character.
It is a slow book, no edge of the seat reading until the end of the book, but it is a fun read.
I meant to add that the Kindle version of this book is hard to read. There are places where the characters or story switches, and during the download, they neglected to follow the spaces necessary. It was very jarring at times. However, I did not take off stars for this, not the author's fault of course. So...that is why I edited my review!