A chilling novel of murder and madness in post-World War II Germany.
Winter 1945. Seven months after the Nazi defeat, Munich is in ruins. Mason Collins - a former Chicago homicide detective, US soldier, and prisoner of war - is now a US Army criminal investigator in the American Zone of Occupation. It's his job to enforce the law in a place where order has been obliterated. And his job just became much more dangerous.
A killer is stalking the devastated city - one who has knowledge of human anatomy, enacts mysterious rituals with his prey, and seems to pick victims at random. Relying on his wits and instincts, Mason must venture places where his own life is put at risk: from interrogation rooms with unrepentant Nazi war criminals to penetrating the US Army's own black market.
What Mason doesn't know is that the killer he's chasing is stalking him, too.
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Excellent WWII historical fiction....
- Howie "History, historical fiction and mysteries are my faves, but a fan of all genres."
Great setting, mediocre plot
The author picked a really interesting period in history, the immediate aftermath of the collapse of Nazi Germany. While the surrounding environment makes for interesting details, the basic plot is, at best, mediocre. Without giving away the story, I would say that the author went with the most cliched plot line - hunting for a serial killer. Out of all the possibilities of setting a crime story in post-war Germany, he settled for one which could have been told in contemporary LA, Chicago, or St.Louis.
The serial killer. What again? Another twisted mind doing carnage, this time with a nod to the horrific atrocities committed by Nazi doctors in the death camps. Connell trivializes these horrors to tell a tale which, unfortunately, feels tired and so cliched.
Engaging, energetic, and listenable.
Why do so many contemporary crime/mystery writers feel compelled to reduce everything to hunting a serial killer? It's boring and has been done to death. While the author picked a fascinating, and largely unexplored time, to set his story, he drops the ball by creating a routine driven cop vs sadistic madman scenario complete with dense bureaucratic boss whose only purpose is to frustrate the protagonist. Spoiler alert -- just like any average B movie thriller, the character has to surrender his badge at the end of act II and pursue the killer all on is own. Wow. Never thought of that.
- Prof Dee "Plugot"