Set in a devastated Berlin one month after the close of the Second World War, Berlin has been acclaimed as "ambitious...filled with brilliantly drawn characters, mesmerizingly readable, and disturbingly convincing" by the Sunday Telegraph. An electrifying thriller in the tradition of Joseph Kanon and Alan Furst, Berlin is a pause resister and an intimate portrait of Germany before, during, and after the war. It is 1945 in the American sector of occupied Berlin, and a German boy has discovered the body of a beautiful young woman in a subway station. Blonde and blue eyed, she has been sexually assaulted and strangled with a chain. When the bodies of other young women begin to pile up, it becomes clear that this is no isolated act of violence, and German and American investigators will have to cooperate if they are to stop the slaughter. Author Pierre Frei has searched the wreckage of Berlin and emerged with a gripping whodunit in which the stories of the victims themselves provide an absorbing commentary. There is a powerful pulse buried deep in the rubble.
©2003 Karl Blessing Verlag, a division of Verlagsgruppe Random House GmbH, München, Germany. Translation copyright 2005 by Anthea Bell. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.
Not everyone will give as high a rating as me. One guy wrote it off as basically trash. He obviously could not get past the multiple and fairly graphic sexual encounters. But the plot is diabolical and the author moves back and forth in time to paint an original account of WWII and the aftermath for individuals from every significant group involved and the significance of Berlin as the pivotal point. The war started and ended here. But the book is not just about "the bad Germans". It focused on the very real lives of many different groups and individuals.
The reason I particularly liked this book is the apolitical detective story that is the thread that holds all the parts together. In the midst of open killing, mass murder and torture that is vilified for eternity, there were still crimes and serial murders, that dedicated law enforcement and detection individuals had to focus on.
At first I said "yuck" to the narration, but soon realized the narration was perfect and captured the souls of all of the characters.
Carol Sue Johnston
Listened to this audiobook during a long car trip. The premise was somewhat intriguing but the execution was much too long. The story was predictable and filled with repetitive gratuitous sexual and violent detail. Would not have finished if trip had been shorter. A print version would have been abandoned fairly early.
didn't read the book
I really can't compare it, b/c it was unique in its delivery and perspective of the women and those law enforcement types that tried to get the bad guy... very refreshing, quite frankly. I'm a mystery junkie.
AW is a great narrator, have listened to others and he does a superb job
Some have complained that the translation is poor. I strongly disagree. I speak fluent german and there is nothing wrong with the translation, it is simply ENGLISH english, not american english... i.e. lead versus leash (for a dog), that sort of thing. it is completely the english that the europeans are taught and speak in Great Britain. The criticism of the translation is simply undeserved.
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