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