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Rosa: A Novel [Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged] [MP3 CD]

Jonathan Rabb , Simon Prebble
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
RRP: £21.68
Price: £21.34 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

25 Jun 2009
In the last days of the First World War, socialist revolution swept across Germany, transforming Berlin into a battleground. But for Detective Inspector Nikolai Hoffner and his young assistant, Hans Fichte, the revolution is a mere inconvenience. They are trying to catch a killer who has left a trail of women dead in the slums of Berlin, all with identical markings etched into their backs. When Rosa Luxemburg, one of the leaders of the socialist uprising, is found murdered with the same carvings in her skin, things get even more complicated for Hoffner. The political police begin to interfere, hinting at an expected angle in the case, and Hoffner is met at every turn by men who will stop at nothing to keep him from finding out the truth about Rosa.

Rosa’s death is a real historical mystery, one that has never been solved. In his remarkable new thriller, Jonathan Rabb presents one strikingly real solution, all the while painting a vivid, unforgettable picture of a dark city in chaos at a time of great political uncertainty.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc; Unabridged edition (25 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400162505
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400162505
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 13.6 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,325,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"...a novel so richly drawn, so dark and so compelling it reaches into your gut and holds on tight..." Detroit Free Press "a ghostly noir that could have been conspired at by Raymond Chandler and Andre Malraux." Harper's "Rabb wields a deft and chilling pen." Richmond Times Dispatch "The hallmarks of Jonathan Rabb's writing are impeccable research, extraordinary attention to detail, superb style and a deep respect for his readers." Charles Middleburgh, Amazon.co.uk" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Rosa, reprinted with a revised cover, is the author's third novel after The Overseer and The Book of Q and is the first in the Berlin Trilogy. Shadow and Light was the second and The Second Son the third. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Berlin in January 1919 was bitterly cold and damp. The Great War was over and Germany was in the throes of defeat, its citizens impoverished, with ersatz everything for sale and no money to purchase anything. The gallant young men who had marched off to fight for God, Kaiser and Fatherland a mere five years before, were dead, maimed and/or disillusioned, bitter and unemployed. A generation of young women would never marry, their potential spouses buried beneath the winter snow. When the Kaiser abdicated, Fredrich Ebert, the leader of the Social Democratic Party, established the Weimar Government in time to sign the humiliating Treaty of Versailles, which forced Germany to pay billions in gold marks - reparation money it did not have. Inflation was rampant.
Tremendous fear of communism permeated the country. Many thought that Russia's Bolshevik Revolution would spread across the border, so most Germans were content to turn a blind eye to the loss of certain liberties, constitutional rights, and accepted the "strong-arm tactics" which prevailed against anyone who threatened the country's stability. The "Spartacus League," (Spartakusbund), German communists named after the slave who lead a rebellion against the Romans, was founded by Rosa Luxemburg, during WWI to counter the German Social Democrats' support of the war. Luxemburg, a Marxist politician, socialist philosopher, and revolutionary, along with her colleague, Karl Liebknicht, challenged Reichschancellor Ebert's government, as did the far right-wing Free Corps (Freikorps). Miss Luxemburg's failure to organize a coherent political opposition to the Social Democratic leadership proved fatal both to the outcome of the German revolution and to her own life.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed hero, flawed book 5 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Halfway through this book I was sure I'd be giving it 5 stars. It had been, thus far, an excellent, atmospheric and intricate serial killer tale set in post WWI Berlin, leavened with enough but no more of the adulterous flaws of the hero to keep one interested but not screaming 'Get on with the story!!' as I now often do with the likes of P.D.James. My only criticisms would have been a certain lack of editing leading to repetitive use of certain words and phrases and the inclusion of painstaking but useless information - at one point a three bus journey across 1919 Berlin is detailed with numbers,routes, destinations etc only for the last sentence to read something like ' but Hoffner took a taxi'.
My real problem is with the second half. I think Mr.Rabb didn't know whether he wanted to write a police procedural or a political thriller so he crammed in both which make the book too long, too complex and ultimately a bit silly. In his effort to maintain interest to the end he drives the plot and the main character to implausible extremes. So, very good but far from perfect - but that hasn't stopped me buying the second volume of the trilogy. By the way for those who have had a problem with the size of the type - get a Kindle.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another triumph! 2 Dec 2007
Format:Paperback
This is the third of Jonathan Rabb's novels to have been published by Halban and it is as different from its predecessor as book two was from book 1. The hallmarks of Jonathan Rabb's writing are impeccable research, extraordinary attention to detail, superb style and a deep respect for his readers.

The focus of this story, set in Germany in the aftermath of the socialist revolution that followed the ending of the First World War, is the failed revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg, whose body is hauled out of the Landwehr Canal in Berlin. Her body is one of several belonging to women believed to have been murdered by a serial killer stalking the streets of the Prussian capital. A redoubtable police inspector, Nikolai Hoffner, sets out to investigate the cases and find the murderer: his search takes him into very murky places, and puts him on a collision course with his immediate superiors, rivals in the political police force, sections of the military and his own son.

Hoffner's journey is a tense and painful one, but his dogged determination ultimately reveals the killer: this, however, is not the end of the story, and, beset by several severe personal losses, he negotiates his way through a series of hazards which put both his career and his life on the line.

Jonathan Rabb perfectly evokes pre-Weimar Germany, and especially the secret bubbling cauldron of anti-Communist and anti-Jewish paranoia and hatred that was to explode into the nightmare of Nazism less than ten years later. This is the perfect novel for those who enjoy intelligent fiction, as well as those with an interest in German society between the two world wars, and shows that Rabb is a writer who can maintain the highest standard in successive works. Roll on book number 4!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rosa: A Berlin Trilogy by Jonathan Rabb 3 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A detective story set in Berlin during the chaotic days following Germany's defeat in the First World War. The plot centres around the murder of legendary left wing activist Rosa Luxemberg. It is a novel,but several real people flit in and out of the narrative.
The characters are exceptionally well-drawn and the author has a great feel for 1919 Berlin. The plotting is complex and clever. An enjoyable read with perhaps a shade too many red herrings to make it entirely convincing. However, it has certainly whetted my appetite for the second and third books of the trliogy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable
A thoroughly enjoyable read; you can't help but like Hoffner as a character, despite his many faults as a human being. Read more
Published 16 days ago by travelpassion
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book
I really enjoyed this book. Era evoked well, paced nicely and good blend of historical fact and conjecture. Even better it was free.
Published 26 days ago by Matt Price
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read
But not a book to fall asleep with as you surely must go back to refresh on who's who. An interesting, and accurate, I imagine, view on Berlin between the wars.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Well writtebn, gripping mystery using historical characters and events.
Published 2 months ago by David223
5.0 out of 5 stars Roses for Rosa!
A really excellent novel, atmospheric, authentic, enthralling. Outstanding character portrayal in times of unsettling chaos.
Published 2 months ago by Geraldine Beck
5.0 out of 5 stars Number 1 in the trilogy
An inter war period political crime story set in Berlin, Both subjects which I enjoy. I had to dust off my existing knowledge of Weimar Germany but Jonathon Rabb writes a taut if... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. Brian R. West
5.0 out of 5 stars stylish read
I found this book a really stylish read - excellent plot and characterisation. Looking forward to the next two books.
Published 5 months ago by Karen A
5.0 out of 5 stars BERLIN DETECTIVE
Having had a short break in Berlin it's nice to know some of the spots mentioned in the book one is reading. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Elizabeth McLean
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting criminal investigation
A good story with lots of twists and turns, including the unexpected death of the female lead character: the dour inspector comes across well as a pedantic, thorough investigator.
Published 6 months ago by andrew cameron
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just a historical novel
It makes you want to sit the places it talks about and to start studying history even if you were till now a disinterested citizen
Published 6 months ago by katerina madi
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