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A Trace of Smoke: the First Hannah Vogel Mystery (Hannah Vogel Novels Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Rebecca Cantrell
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

"A compelling and human story that captures brilliantly the atmosphere of Berlin during the rise of the Nazis."--Anne Perry, "New York"" Times" bestselling author of "We Shall Not Sleep""Make room on your bookshelf for a talented new novelist named Rebecca Cantrell. In "A Trace of Smoke," she delivers a historical mystery that works on every level. It's a riveting page-turner. It's an insightful study of a young woman in peril. It's a unerringly accurate vision of a society slipping steadily toward madness. And it's written with a sense of clarity, pace, and attention to detail that tells you this author is going to be writing terrific stories for a long time. So don't miss her debut."--William Martin, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Back Bay" and "The Lost Constitution" "Evocative and hauntingly crafted, Rebecca Cantrell's debut mystery "A Trace of Smoke "is a treasure of suspense, romance, and murder. Her ability to spin history into a visceral reality is done with the artistry of a master storyteller. Truly a stunning start to a long career."--James Rollins, "New York"" Times" bestseller of "The Judas Strain""Step into the fun house world of 1931 Berlin where no one and nothing is what it seems.... "A Trace of Smoke" is compulsive reading with all the juiciness of the tawdry world of "Cabaret" but told with keen insight to the historical criminality taking place."--Sara Colleton, executive producer of "Dexter "and "The Painted Veil""Moving through the Berlin of 1931, with the monstrosity of the next decade stirring beneath the streets, Rebecca Cantrell's characters illustrate the very human desire to cling to innocence and joy, to do right no matter the cost, to shelterlight amidst growing darkness. Both personal and historical, "A Trace of Smoke" clings to the mind."--Laurie R. King, "New York Times "bestselling author of "The Game"

Product Description

Berlin. 1931.

The year that Germany was lost to the Nazis. Storm Troopers and Communists fight in the streets. Wealthy Jews and intellectuals think of fleeing. Desperate sexual and social outcasts cram Berlin’s famous nightclubs to wring out one last dance.

Hannah Vogel lives alone and works as a crime reporter.

On a routine assignment, she sees a picture of her brother’s body in the Hall of the Unnamed Dead. But since she loaned their identity papers to escaping Jewish friends, she cannot identify him and demand an investigation.

So she tracks the killer herself.

Reviews:

“Bold narrator and chilling historical setting...an unusually vivid context, [lets] Hannah report on the decadence of her world without losing her life –or her mind.”—The New York Times Book Review



“A gritty realistic portrayal of 1930s Berlin…keeping the suspense high, Cantrell does an excellent job of projecting the fear of the time through her characters. Strongly recommended.”—Library Journal (starred)


“[A] haunting debut novel….evocative, compassionate, and compelling.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Cantrell nails both the ‘life is a cabaret’ atmosphere and the desperation floating inside the champagne bubbles… a promising debut.”--Booklist
“Set in 1931 Berlin, Cantrell’s scrupulously researched debut tolls a somber dirge for Weimar Germany in its last days…this unforgettable novel, which can be as painful to read as the history it foreshadows, builds to an appropriately bittersweet ending.”--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A compelling and human story that captures brilliantly the atmosphere of Berlin during the rise of the Nazis.”—Anne Perry, New York Times bestselling author of We Shall Not Sleep


"Evocative and hauntingly crafted, Rebecca Cantrell's debut mystery A Trace of Smoke is a treasure of suspense, romance, and murder. Her ability to spin history into a visceral reality is done with the artistry of a master storyteller. Truly a stunning start to a long career."--James Rollins, New York Times bestseller of The Judas Strain

"Make room on your bookshelf for a talented new novelist named Rebecca Cantrell. In A Trace of Smoke, she delivers a historical mystery that works on every level. It's a riveting page-turner. It's an insightful study of a young woman in peril. It's a unerringly accurate vision of a society slipping steadily toward madness. And it's written with a sense of clarity, pace, and attention to detail that tells you this author is going to be writing terrific stories for a long time. So don't miss her debut."--William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Back Bay and The Lost Constitution
“Step into the fun house world of 1931 Berlin where no one and nothing is what it seems…. A Trace of Smoke is compulsive reading with all the juiciness of the tawdry world of Cabaret but told with keen insight to the historical criminality taking place.”--Sara Colleton, executive producer of Dexter and The Painted Veil

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 569 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CD6AHHK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,898 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Cantrell's novels have won the Bruce Alexander and the Macavity awards and been nominated for the Barry, Mary Higgins Clark, APPY, RT Reviewers Choice, and Shriekfest Film Festival awards. She and her husband and son just left Hawaii's sunny shores for adventures in Hannah Vogel's hometown--Berlin.

She is the author of the Hannah Vogel mystery series, including A Trace of Smoke, A Night of Long Knives, A Game of Lies, and A City of Broken Glass. She also co-writes the Order of Sanguines series with James Rollins, including The Blood Gospel and the upcoming Innocent Blood.

As Bekka Black, Rebecca wrote the critically-acclaimed YA cell phone novels iDrakula and the iFrankenstein.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great first novel... 12 Mar. 2010
By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Rebecca Cantrell shows life in that "iffy" period in German history, the Weimar Republic, which preceded Hitler's official ascendency to power in 1934 as Chancellor under Hindenburg. Germany society had been restabilised from the low point of trillion-mark inflation of the '20's, but everyday life was still difficult, even for those, like Hannah Vogel, who had a job.
She was a newspaper reporter for Berliner Tagablatt, writing crime stories under an alias.

She's also a widow of a WW1 soldier, and the sister of a much-younger brother, Ernst, who is gay and works as a singer in a gay bar. He has many unusual friends and associates and one day winds up floating in the River Spee.

He's unidentified and his picture is posted on the wall at the "Alex", the main police station in Berlin, where Hannah sees it while going through police reports. She doesn't want to identify her brother, but begins to investigate his disappearance and murder. She gets involved with his many associates - some more shady than others - and begins to really see the political dynamics of the times.

It's a well-written novel - Cantrell's first - and I'd love to read more of her work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In the first of her Hannah Vogel series, Cantrell introduces her tough yet sentimental, morally-impeccable heroine. A German crime journalist, Hannah is single, independent, and prone to trouble-making. Here she gets embroiled in tracing the killer of her cross-dressing brother - and finds herself caught up in Nazi sex scandals.

I like this series, but this doesn't quite tip over into a 5-star book. Cantrell is excellent at creating the atmosphere of decadent and desperate 1930s Berlin, and the seedy nightclubs which flourished. Where this book falls down a little is in the saint-like Hannah: even though it's only 1931 and Hitler hasn't even been made Chancellor yet, Hannah already hates the Nazis (even though many of her friends don't, and see nothing wrong with dating one) with the kind of hindsight that we have. She's also loved by all her friends and acquaintances, even the occasional imprisoned forgery expert (handy for the plot), and the local newspaperman. She is happy to starve herself so that a child she's just met can have sweet treats to eat, and is constantly talking about how she's ready to sacrifice herself for... what, exactly?

So the characterisation of our heroine is a tad unsubtle, and configured to press too many obvious emotional buttons. Despite that, though, this is a series which deals with big issues in a generally intelligent and well-imagined way. Hannah is a little one-dimensional in moral terms in this book, a female version of that shining knight of chivalric romance, but given the darkening of Berlin at this time, Cantrell's need for an overly moral heroine can be forgiven.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Trace of Smoke review 19 May 2013
By Clare D
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I came across Rebecca Cantrell as she co-wrote Blood Gospel with James Rollins. I read A Trace of Smoke and was not sure to expect. I was pleasantly surprised, i was worried i would not enjoy a book set in 1930s Germany. It is beautifully written, Hannah Vogel is a fantastic character. I cannot wait to read more about Hannah in the nest three books. The book blends accurate history of the era in which the book was set whilst keeps you getting as to who did what. I urge you all to order yourselves a copy of this book, you will soon believe you are actually in Berlin in Hannah's shoes. I really loved it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story. 28 Jun. 2013
By Faith
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Page turning from the start. Very emotive. I would certainly recommend and look forward to reading more in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I don't have time to read a lot of fiction so when I do, I want to make it worth my while. This novel had everything I needed: great characters, gripping story line, action, intrigue and a very interesting historical setting. It's a classic "can't put down page turner." The sequel, "A Night of Long Knives" was equally entertaining and I'm now ready to read book 3 "A Game of Lies." Looking forward to everything Cantrell publishes from now on!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected delight!! 10 May 2013
Format:Paperback
I found this book by accident while shopping at a garage sale. I picked it up,read the back cover and laid it down and looked at other things. Before leaving the garage sale I went back and picked the book up again and bought it. It's not something I would probably normally read just based on the back cover. I did read it and I loved it! It was one of the best books I had read in a very long time. It's set in Nazi Germany and blends fiction with real past history. I loved Hannah and her story and actually didn't want the book to end. Imagine how happy I was to find out there were three more Hannah Vogel books waiting for me to read!!! I've read all of them now and hope her story continues. You will love this book too!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Berlin 1930's at it's HOTTEST!! 9 May 2013
Format:Paperback
Rebecca has written and crafted a wonderfully tight plotted story set in Berlin 1930's. Hannah will draw you in with her refined tough character and leave you clambering for the next book.

I will not go into story detail because I hate reading reviews with them. That's what the inside jacket cover is for, but I will tell you this: This story has a great ending that will not disappoint. So many times I've read books and have been left with that 'so what' feeling. Not the case with Rebecca!!! She never cheats her fans!!!

Also have a look at her collaboration with James Rollins in Blood Gospel. I have never read a more perfectly intertwined collaboration than this book. You can clearly see both of them at work here. James with his technical prose and Rebecca with her subtle romance and charm. Simply splendid!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Set in Berlin in 1931 the book describes a period not seen in many...
Set in Berlin in 1931 the book describes a period not seen in many novels, the era between the massive inflationary years and pre the Nazis coming to absolute power. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Milhist
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable read.
This is my first Rebecca Cantrell book and I will definitely be reading more in the series. The story encapsulates the era beautifully. Read more
Published 10 months ago by caro
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read
I have just finished reading A Trace Of Smoke and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is well written and Rebecca's descriptive passages are excellent. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Pat wakeman
4.0 out of 5 stars Well researched story
I enjoyed the very descriptive writing of Berlin in the 1920's and 30. well researched and written. Look forward to reading more books by Rebecca
Published 16 months ago by Keith Drapkin
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting
A book that lasts to the end, a haunting story of life in Berlin before World War II when the Nazi regime and Hilter were growing in power. Read more
Published 18 months ago by majorb
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent intro to Hannah Vogel
My mum recommended this to me ages ago. She said it was the sort of book that when it ends, you become desperate to know what happens next. I agree. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Christine M
5.0 out of 5 stars A trace of smoke
This book stunned me. I am not usually one to read mysteries,
I usually find them slow and predictable. However this book was neither. I
have A.D.H.D. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Carissa
5.0 out of 5 stars Berlin 1930's at it's HOTTEST!!
Rebecca has written and crafted a wonderfully tight plotted story set in Berlin 1930's. Hannah will draw you in with her refined tough character and leave you clambering for the... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Dean Kutzler
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