German intelligence officer Captain Gregor Reinhardt has just been reassigned to the Feldjaegerkorps - a new branch of the military police with far-reaching powers. His position separates him from the friends and allies he has made in the last two years. And he needs them now more than ever. While retreating through Yugoslavia with the rest of the army, Reinhardt witnesses a massacre of civilians by the dreaded Ustaše - only to discover that there is more to the incident than anyone believes. When five mutilated bodies turn up, Reinhardt knows that the stakes are growing more important - and more dangerous. As his investigation begins to draw the attention of those in power, Reinhardt's friends and associates are made to suffer. But as he desperately tries to uncover the truth, his own past with the Ustaše threatens his efforts. Because when it comes to death and betrayal, some people have long memories. And they remember Reinhardt all too well.
©2014 Luke McCallin (P)2014 Tantor
While listening to this marvel of historical fiction, I found myself stopping and Googling on several occasions. The struggles in the Balkins has always intriguiged me, especially the focal point of Sarejevo. I have learned more from historical novelists and journalistic memoirs than I could have imagined. There are so many threads of man's inhumanity to man that seem to escape the headlines of history. In the epilogue, McCallin refers to the House of Terror, synonymous with his Pale House and to Jasenovak Prison, whose crimes against humanity rival and surpass those of Auschwiz. The Ustase, given power over this tiny piece of geography are material for nightmares that outdo those of the SS.
Gregor Reinhardt is McCallin's vehicle to guide us through and illustrate places in history that we might never have known existed.
I look forward to Gregor's next journey into the no man's land between loyalty and morality. 2016 I think...
To follow Sarajevo into our present frame of reference I recommend the book 'Love Thy Neighbor: a Story of War' by Peter Maas, which can be found on Audible.com.
I love books!
My second book by Luke McCallin. In this book it's March 1945 in Sarajevo, two months before the war's end. The German army is in retreat. Into this timeline comes Captain Gregor Reinhardt. You've got the Partisans, who were really the Communists, pushing up from the south, the Croatian bullies who are aligned with the Germans, the Serbians who inhabit Sarajevo for the most part, Muslims from Albania, Bosnia, and other parts to the south, along with the German army. And, it's a big mess where if you aren't fighting you are just trying to survive the war. Into to volatile environment comes Reinhardt who is tasked with investigating a group of German soldiers who are taking booty any way they can and killing anyone who gets in the way. It's intense. The author spins a good yarn and it helps you understand some of the roots of the troubles that still exist in the Balkans today. If you are interested in this book, I would recommend starting with the previous book, 'The Man From Berlin'. They go together.
John Lee great as usual . Story line not equal to # 1
Absent epilogue, the specific criminal activity exposed is obscrue, to even, a discriminating listener.
Explains a lot of what we saw when the fuse hit the powder keg in the 90's in Sarajevo. Excellent human portraits.
33 year-old pharmacist, organic chemist and musician.
Mr Luke McCallin has given a new life to the Nazi historical novel genre (predictable and badly ageing). The Pale House will hook you with its in-your-face realism and challenging intrigue. Unsettling dark details are often but unceremoniously flashed throughout the narrative until the reader becomes used to it, giving the story a haunting "noir" atmosphere. Gregor Reinhardt follows confusing leads into a murder investigation as the camera follows him through what quickly evolves into a living, monstrous character in istelf : Sarajevo, 1945.
Contrary to what I've read elsewhere, I do not think it is necessary to read The Man from Berlin before this sequel. The writing is much more confident, the mood more cristallized and the understanding much more deeper than before. This painting of Sarajevo in 1945 is a beautiful work of art for people with an appreciative sense of the unique and the genial.
I must admit I was deeply impressed with The Pale House. 4 stars well deserved (5 stars are reserved for Classics on my own personal scale!).
I must give five stars to Mr. John Lee, who somehow managed to narrate The Pale House with the distinctively German feel and Prussian formality this English-language text commands. What a tour-de-force!
Luke McCallin's second Reinhardt book is better than the first, The Man from Berlin. I'm a big fan of Alan Furst's and Philip Kerr's writing, McCallin is more Kerr than Furst. The narrator works pretty well for the material.
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