The Ashes of Ber­lin by Luke McCallin, No Exit Press.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - Books - LM

It’s 1947 and what’s left of Ber­lin is gov­erned by four coun­tries. The city’s teem­ing with sol­diers and se­cret agents – men in the “race for what glit­ters in the rub­ble”. Gre­gor Rein­hardt is a de­tec­tive, alert to the po­lit­i­cal un­der­cur­rents, but hop­ing to be left alone. He has a se­rial killer – some­one mur­der­ing for­mer pilots – to find. Luke McCallin cre­ates a pic­ture of a de­feated city and grim pop­u­lace. He builds ten­sion, shift­ing his de­tec­tive be­tween threats of id­i­otic fel­low of­fi­cers, aris­to­crats, Soviet agents and a killer. It’s a po­lit­i­cal thriller and a who­dunit, but it has heart. Rein­hardt’s re­spect for his brave land­lady, his love for his shell-shocked friend, and his ten­der, con­flicted re­la­tion­ship with his dam­aged son are gen­uinely mov­ing.

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