In war-torn Yugoslavia, a beautiful young filmmaker and photographer - a veritable hero to her people - and a German officer have been brutally murdered. Assigned to the case is military intelligence officer Captain Gregor Reinhardt. Already haunted by his wartime actions and the mistakes he's made off the battlefield, he soon finds that his investigation may be more than just a murder, and that the late Yugoslavian heroine may have been much more brilliant - and treacherous - than anyone knew. Maneuvering his way through a minefield of political, military, and personal agendas and vendettas, Reinhardt knows that someone is leaving a trail of dead bodies to cover their tracks. But those bloody tracks may lead Reinhardt to a secret hidden within the ranks of the powerful that they will do anything to keep. And his search for the truth may kill him before he ever finds it.
©2013 Luke McCallin (P)2014 Tantor
I love this period of historical novel and McCallin is the best I've read so far. In the beginning it's a bit hard to keep track of all the characters, but stick with it; the book is very well written and very suspenseful. Narration is great including a multitude of voices and quirks vocalic quirks for several characters. I just finished the book and purchased Book 2. Can't wait to keep up with Gregor Reinhardt.
33 year-old pharmacist, organic chemist and musician.
Very good first novel by this author. Read it. Here's why :
What attracted me to this book are the few but positive reviews and -- most importantly -- the fact that the story takes place in Sarajevo in 1943. It is an unusual (exotic?) combination of time and place for a novel about a murder investigation. I find many of the modern attempts at publishing historical novels end up featuring bland/overused stories disguised as something new, missing yet another opportunity to tell us what it was like during those days.
The Man From Berlin did not fufill my apprehensions : it was entertaining, original, fascinating and un-pretentious. The narrator did a very good job of speaking with just a touch of a German accent and his intonation fit the style. I learned a lot about the sad and complex history of the peoples of the Balkans. For instance I learned that Sarajevo, today the capital city of Bosnia & Herzegovina, was forced to be included in the short-lived Nazi puppet-state called "Independant State of Croatia" and that the Croat pro-Nazi party (the Ustaše) was in charge. A significant number of ethnic Croats were enrolled in German SS divisions made sure Germany's politics were carried out locally. While many atrocities were commited, the author wisely chose to mention it clearly and not dwell emotionally on the subject. The Nazis are favorite villains in fiction and I applaud Mr. McCallin for not feeding the trolls in this work. The subject of Jews cannot be avoided and the author did a very graceful job at casting an era-appropriate view of Hitler's most known ethnic policies.
There are many bad historical novels out there, and quite a few ordinary ones too. The Man from Berlin was a gamble for me. I will definitely be following this author in the future.
History, historical fiction and mysteries are my faves, but a fan of all genres.
Reminds me a lot of the Bernie Gunther series by Philip Kerr, not as "Noirish" but really good read with a good tale. A good guy among thugs and chaos trying to solve a murder in a place of genocides. Highly recommend,,,, looking forward to the the next one as it looks like a new series.
The narrator, John Lee, is superb, as always. Superlatives don't capture his range of timbres and accents. McCallin's book is excellent, textured and nuanced, both in terms of his exploration of Reinhardt's character, and his depiction of intrigue and complexity in war-time Yugoslavia. The pacing is slow, but pleasurable. I'm ready for the next in the series.
I was looking for a new detective novel and downloaded this one which promised to be excellent. The narrator is good, the story limps a little and didn't keep me riveted. So-so; not great.
Explains a lot of what we saw when the fuse hit the powder keg in the 90's in Sarajevo. Excellent human portraits.
Welcome to the club Mr. McCallin. You have earned shelf space with LaCarre, Furst, Kerr, and other scribes who dazzle us with stunning journeys through WW II and the lives of its heroes and villains.
You are a master craftsman of the art of intrigue. I was consumed by your use of character development, plot lines, atmospheric texture and ethos.
And if John Lee doesn't win an Oscar for his singularly spectacular narrative interpretation of this multi-character, trans European Tolstoy-esque Proustian joy ride I will eat my hat.
he takes you back to a time we've almost forgotten. and gives us a picture of a man who was our enemy and gives him character and integrity so we can understand him; his true enemies; and his actions.
Keeps me interested. Good suspense. Care about the lead character
Anxious to get onto the second half. Must pay careful attention to the character names since they are unfamiliar to the American ear, but well worth it and it is manageable to do so.. Amazed that it is McCallins 1st book. I would buy. a sequel
Fascinating new series: The author uses his own experiences to craft a compelling story of a conflicted German officer serving in Yugoslavia during the height of Axis power. My only complaint is the lack of interesting female characters. The one major female character is dead! I plan to purchase the next audiobook in the series, anyway.
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