followup to her first novel. Rebecca Cantrell returns to mid-30's Berlin in her second novel, "A Night of Long Knives". She revives her character, journalist Hannah Vogel, from her first, introductory novel, "A Trace of Smoke", while adding a gentleman-friend for Hannah, who lives in Berlin, while she has fled to South America with her "adopted" son, Anton. Anton, the son of a prostitute, has rather murky father-issues. His father might be Ernst Rohm, the gay commander of Hitler's Brown Shirts, or he may be the son of Hannah's brother Ernst, who was also a lover of Ernst Rohm. Cantrell's first book was set in Berlin in 1931, as Hitler is coming to power, and the second has the backdrop of his "Night of Long Knives", where he gathers and murders Rohm and many of the Brown Shirts.
I can't quite decide why Cantrell's second book isn't quite as good as her first. There's a lot of action during the week that Hannah and Anton are kidnapped when their zeppelin makes an unexpected stop in Germany on the way to Switzerland from South America. People are killed, secrets betrayed, lovers loved, a mother's devotion to her son displayed, and Hannah is involved in all of it. It's almost TOO convoluted to seem with in the realm of reality. Now, I recognise that fiction IS unreality of a sort, but it's almost too much in Cantrell's book.
Saying all that, I did enjoy her book. I love seeing old characters in new stories and Cantrell is a good writer. If you read and enjoyed "A Trace of Smoke", you'll like this one. I am looking forward to a continuation in her Hannah Vogel series.