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Straight Into Darkness (2006)

Straight into Darkness (2006)

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3.69 of 5 Votes: 4
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0446611506 (ISBN13: 9780446611503)

About book Straight Into Darkness (2006)

Story of an average citizen in 1929 Munich, with a 2005 prologue and epilogue written from the viewpoint of the citizen's son. I have a love/hate relationship with books set during this time. So much tension and tragedy with opportunity for the good and bad elements of the individual to shine through makes for great reads but I'm usually left with a "how can people be so vile" hang over that lasts for days.Straight into Darkness reads like a mystery, not a WWI/WWII novel. I did not suffer from the hang over.Liked:Complex, well developed protagonist, police officer Axel Berg investigates a series of homicides while trying to balance family life, workplace intrigues and the turbulent political climate.Historical police procedural with interesting differences from current mysteries(i.e. disdain for asking spouses of the murdered women "personal" questions, stirrings of psychological profiling)The political details hover in the background in a very natural way until events directly impact the characters. The author has done a very good job in this - we can see the times were tough and the average citizens of the day were struggling with their own post-WWI situations.Disliked:I would have liked more detail about the politics but I can see how it would have compromised the "urgency" required in a mystery.

I actually listened to this book and it was difficult to listen to. I can't believe I never read it before. A murder mystery set in 1920's Germany, the rise of Hitler. Historically accurate so even scarier than just the murders. Some people object to the Freudian psychology used, but that was historically accurate so it fit in well. Axel Berg is a Detective who is Danish and lives in Bavaria. The discussion of various "Germans" was interesting as was the discussions in the changes of Munich after WWI. After one Hitler Rally, the Brown Shirts were marching through the streets yelling "Kill the Jews" and I kept thinking, why didn't they leave then if they could. Coincidentally, as I was reading the book, I met a German Rabbi from Munich (whose family did leave, but he has since gone back) and asked why more people didn't leave, and he said they thought it would blow over, that Hitler would never gain power, and by the time he did, it was too late. Forced evacuations started in 1933, only a few years after this book. The book became almost too real for me, (I am Jewish) and I started thinking, almost everyone in this book will be dead soon. The story is book ended by a prologue and epilogue from 2005, so you know someone lives!!

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I just finished reading this this morning. Wow. I've read everything else Faye Kellerman and wasn't sure I was in the mood for something dark and heavy. But I wanted to know what happened to Rina's grandmother in Munich, and since she decided not to fully find out the answer... I had to go ahead and read! I'm do glad I did! What an amazing story of the times, the hatred political climate in pre-WWII Germany.. And insight into how people were feeling about Hitler before he was elected and caused so much terror and shame for the world. Kellerman did a fabulous job with the story... And I feel as though I learned so much also! great read.
—Cara St.Germain

Although the plot strains credulity, weighted as it is with Freudian baggage, the atmospherics and the characters are compelling. The events take place in Munich, 1929, and the city is in turmoil. Germany was recovering from the depression, goods were more readily available, the rich were - filthy, and Munich was a gem of a city. 1929 marked the end of Hitler's so-called "Wilderness Years;" the Nazi party had been rebuilt, membership had grown, and the elite, middle-class, and civil servants (including the police,) were buying in to the party philosophy, including the persecution of the "degenerate," Jews, Communists, Modern Artists, etc. Persecution was common, and paranoia was rampant. Faye Kellerman does a wonderful job of unveiling the nascent dystopia, and peopling it with characters struggling with the environment, and with their own moral frailties. There is no one to completely admire in this book, and whatever redemption is won is bitter at best. There is so much of value in this book's milieu I could only wish the plot didn't hinge on a set of fairly uninteresting, stock serial killings. There is a richness to the story, it's just not in the crimes, or even their solution. Two stars because the plot didn't work for me.

I ended up not reading this. When I looked over the blurb, I realized it is a new series (?), or anyway new characters, set in 1920s Munich and incorporating Hitler's rise to national leadership. Not interested. At all. It's a time period that gives me nightmares with the realities; I don't want to read about fictional serial killers.Having said that, I'm sure it's well-written. That's one of the reasons I like Kellerman: she rarely over-writes, she keeps the suspense level appropriate without getting gory (mostly), and draws characters that you can't help getting involved in.

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