1 Dec 2016


THE ASHES OF BERLIN (Published in the US as The Divided City) by LUKE McCALLIN.

PRESS RELEASE BLURB: World War II is over, and former German intelligence officer Captain Gregor Reinherdt has returned to Berlin. He's about to find that bloodshed has not ended - and that for some, death is better than defeat.

A year after Germany's defeat, Reinhardt has been hired back onto Berlin s civilian police force. The city is divided among the victorious allied powers, but tensions are growing, and the police are riven by internal rivalries as factions within it jockey for power and influence with Berlin's new masters.

When a man is found slain in a broken-down tenement, Reinherdt embarks on a gruesome investigation. It seems a serial killer is on the loose, and matters only escalate when it's discovered that one of the victim's was the brother of a Nazi scientist.

Reinhardt's search for the truth takes him across the divided city and soon embroils him in a plot involving the Western Allies and the Soviets. And as he comes under the scrutiny of a group of Germans who want to continue the war – and faces an unwanted reminder from his own past – Reinhardt realises that this investigation could cost him everything as he pursues a killer who believes that all wrongs must be avenged... 

FIRST SENTENCE {Part One: How Happy the Dead; Chapter 1: Berlin, Early 1947: Monday}: Reinherdt had come to prefer the nights.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 38/39}: Reinherdt was plunged into darkness. He felt a moment of apprehension as the rubble seemed to come alive with sounds, small sounds, the whisper of little feet, a low snatch of words. Children they were, and he always wished more could be done for them - even if most of them wanted wanted nothing to do with people like him and this new world, and, really who could blame him for that - but they could be menacing on their own ground, very dangerous if they felt themselves provoked or threatened. 

SOURCE: A paper back copy received from Real Readers powered by nudge. Published by No Exit Press, The Ashes Of Berlin is not published until the 5th of December 2016.

MY THOUGHTS: Following on from Man From Berlin and The Pale House neither of which I've read. Though slowly revealed, eventually there was enough background information on Reinherdt to make me feel that I knew enough of him as a character and then, of course, a different case to be solved, meant that this worked well enough as a standalone read.

Most certainly not without his issues, a bit of an outsider, a lone wolf if you will - but then aren't all the best detectives? An ex-World War II intelligence officer (I'm reliably informed the first two books deal with his time spent in Intelligence) come police inspector (again) as mistrusted by his colleagues as he is mistrusting of them. In short, a highly engaging and readable character. 

Set in a country ravaged, its citizens impoverished, its children orphans, its newly re-formed police force vying for control of the streets. With most novels of this genre set in war torn Germany it was refreshing to read one set post-war.

Though with a plot I initially found rather meandering, it turned out there were twists and turns aplenty (if your anything like me the whodunit revelation will come as a surprise), the author doing an admirable job creating tension. My only criticism, slight as it might be. The narrative at times was what I thought of as stilted, some of the descriptions - 'a narrow lady', a man described as being 'all curves' whilst perfectly acceptable, unusual. Still, all in all, an enjoyable read that may well be worth a look should you be after a Police Procedural that is that bit different.


DMS said...

This sounds like a good one. I think it is great that you were able to enjoy it without reading the other two. Interesting title too! :)

Kelly said...

I do love a good police procedural and the time and place for this series sounds unique and interesting. Based on what you've said, though, I think I'd want to start at the beginning of the series. I'll certainly keep an eye out for it.

Brian Joseph said...

I agree that the setting of this book makes it sound very interesting. Germany right after the end of The Second World War is a time that is ripe for fictional stories.

Sherry Ellis said...

Sounds like an interesting book, but I agree that some of the narrative descriptions seem a bit odd.

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