In November 1918, socialist revolution sweeps across Germany, transforming Berlin, already ravaged by war, into a political battleground. Four women from the slums are discovered dead, all with identical markings on their back. When the fifth turns out to be Rosa Luxemburg, a leader of the suppressed socialist uprising, the political police ...
In November 1918, socialist revolution sweeps across Germany, transforming Berlin, already ravaged by war, into a political battleground. Four women from the slums are discovered dead, all with identical markings on their back. When the fifth turns out to be Rosa Luxemburg, a leader of the suppressed socialist uprising, the political police complicate the investigations of Detective Inspector Nicolai Hoffner and his assistant Hans Fichte. Rabb brings to life a world capital on the brink of chaos, a tragic revolutionary who inspired and enraged in equal measure, and a compellingly complex, world-weary, deeply flawed but brilliant inspector, Nikolai Hoffner. "...a novel so richly drawn, so dark and so compelling it reaches into your gut and holds on tight..." Detroit Free Press "a ghostly noir that could have been conspired at by Raymond Chandler and Andre Malraux." Harper's "Rabb wields a deft and chilling pen." Richmond Times Dispatch "The hallmarks of Jonathan Rabb's writing are impeccable research, extraordinary attention to detail, superb style and a deep respect for his readers." Charles Middleburgh, Amazon.co.uk
I almost gave up on this book after 50 pages but was determined to see why most think it is such a great book. Well, after about 80 pages I could not put it down. One of the most detailed and carefully crafted mysteries I've read.
Also builds a very detailed look at post WW I Berlin (and Germany) and the really dark clouds that are growing on the horizon.
An outstanding read, especially for those that love historical fiction. I almost the trilogy out of sequence....DO NOT DO THAT....it makes them so much more enjoyable having read them in order.
Publishers Weekly, 2005-02-07 Based on the obscure four-month-long disappearance of the corpse of Rosa Luxemburg, the "Devil Jewess" Socialist Democrat revolutionary, after her summary execution on January 15, 1919, this brooding, studiously researched fiction noir from Rabb (The Overseer; The Book of Q) imagines the maelstrom of conspiracy and political unrest in post-WWI Germany. For six dreary weeks, starting in early December, veteran Det. Insp. Nikolai Hoffner-along with Hans Fichte, an ambitious 23-year-old detective trainee-has been baffled by the corpses of middle-aged women appearing around Berlin with signature designs carved into their backs. In mid-January, Hoffner is called to see a fifth corpse in an abandoned subway station, and at the morgue, he is shown a sixth body-that of the infamous Rosa Luxemburg. Her corpse has similar markings, but there are subtle differences. These suspicious variations-coupled with the arrogant intervention of the powerful Polpo (political police), who spirit the corpse away to a morgue upstairs-launch Hoffner on a perilous, labyrinthine inquiry. Sometimes the novel's prose is rather tangled and Rabb struggles to get his story told, but subtexts of love, betrayal and a detective at war with his feelings illuminate this gothic tapestry of anti-Semitism and ethnic elitism with its foreshadowing of the Nazi era. Agent, Matt Bialer. (Mar. 1) Forecast: Fans of Philip Kerr and Alan Furst are Rabb's target audience, but his latest may disappoint them. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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