Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2018
I liked this book for a couple of reasons: First, as a translation, I thought it was well done. I don’t speak German. But, some books, by dint of their native language, come across stilted in their translation into the English language. Not so in this read. The story line flowed without any “awkwardness” in understanding as to what was going on at any time during the reading.
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.
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