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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this book clearly goes beyond classical criminal novels and provides reader with some fine analysis, usually not too much presen
Author decided to put very interesting criminalistic plot in real historical settings - a WWII Sarajevo, Yugoslavia - which provides additional authenticity to whole story.

Interestingly, no one of key actors - German gendarmes, Ustaše, Partizans and even German wannabe Resistance officers - is portrayed in clear black-white fashion. Even the main...
Published 6 months ago by Zoran

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars World War II Murder Investigation
Military Intelligence officer and former policeman Captain Gregor Reinhardt is ordered to investigate the murder of a young female Yugoslav film-maker and a German officer. As the crime has taken place in Sarajevo in 1943 he has more to worry about than just his investigation as political and national factions, and the progress of the war, mean that making any progress...
Published 3 months ago by CuteBadger


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this book clearly goes beyond classical criminal novels and provides reader with some fine analysis, usually not too much presen, 6 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Man from Berlin (Gregor Reinhardt) (Paperback)
Author decided to put very interesting criminalistic plot in real historical settings - a WWII Sarajevo, Yugoslavia - which provides additional authenticity to whole story.

Interestingly, no one of key actors - German gendarmes, Ustaše, Partizans and even German wannabe Resistance officers - is portrayed in clear black-white fashion. Even the main character, Abwehr captain Reinhardt, remains burdened with his own past, both professional and private, and vulnerable to lot of internal doubts. In that respect, this book clearly goes beyond classical criminal novels and provides reader with some fine analysis, usually not too much present in this genre.

Until the very end of the book - approximately last 20 pages - it is not entirely clear which person(s) committed two murders, and for which exact reason, so final resolution of this puzzle is a masterpiece of criminal novel.

There are certain (casual or deliberate) factual errors. For example, British liaison mission with Partizans was never allowed (or, for that purpose, had physical capacity) to keep its own POWs.

A lot of characters, in some way, resemble real persons. For example, Marija Vukic, Ustasa icon and film director, reminds on Olga Chekhova, Russian actress who spent WWII in Berlin in pretty much the same role. British officer who appears at the very end of the novel could be only William Deakin, who parachuted during Sutjeska battle (referred to in the novel) in May 1943. German Foreign Ministry official, mentor of Captain Reinhardt and one of anti-Nazi Resistance leaders in Germany, looks like Ulrich von Hassell, German ambassador in Rome, who participated in 20 July 1944 plot and was executed in April 1945.

I read this book during recent holidays on Malta, when having plenty of time. However, it took me just about three or four days to complete reading, so it confirms "The Man from Berlin" being a nice stuff indeed.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A soldier and a partisan: negotiating Sarajevo in the second world war, 12 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: The Man from Berlin (Gregor Reinhardt) (Paperback)
One reason why this book stands out as a war-time thriller is that its main character is an expert detective and soldier with a troubled conscience. The combination works. His self-doubt and ethical doubt offset his professional experience and certainty, and make us party to his every page-turning move. Somehow this adds both subtlety and momentum to the very credible story line and to the well-researched portrayal of German-occupied Bosnia in the second world war. I admit I enjoyed an Englishman writing from the perspective of a German officer. I relished the descriptions of the mountain terrain as well as the streets of Sarajevo, as of some of the people occupying the Balkan city and landscapes. This book is written with plenty of flourish, and there are a few nasty characters we're happy to see go down. I read the book very much as a novel rather than a piece of historical writing, and will leave any commentary on the painful reality of history in this part of the world to reviewers more knowledgeable than I. I wish Gregor Reinhardt a good rest from action and from himself while he and his followers await the next book which Luke McCallin promises us.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime and War, 27 Nov. 2014
By 
Liz Wilkins "Lizzy11268" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Man From Berlin, The (Paperback)
Part crime drama and part war story, The Man from Berlin is a tremendously good read, involving and intriguing with some wonderfully drawn characters not least of which is our main protagonist, Gregor Reinhardt.

During World War 2, Reinhardt is tasked with finding the murderer of a German Officer – found with him, Marija Vukic, a young and free spirited filmaker – in order to solve the crime, Reinhardt must battle his own demons whilst dealing with both political and personal agenda’s which may allow the killer to escape punishment. Determined not to accept a quick and convenient “solution” he finds himself in all sorts of trouble.

I loved the fact that this was what I call a “meaty” story – there are a lot of layers to it, all very well plotted and a bit like a literary jigsaw puzzle, you find yourself slotting the pieces together, not always in the right places. Add to that the very “noir” feel that the author brings to his prose, the absolute depth he gives to all the characters and the really fascinating backdrop and you have a winner.

Descriptively speaking, the war torn Sarajevo comes to life and the exploration of the various political and military groups working in and around the location in 1943 are compelling, realistic and add an intensity to the story which raises it above the level of standard crime and mystery thrillers. Overall I found it to be extremely readable and very very addictive at times, that thing where its 3am and you are thinking “just ONE more chapter then I’ll go to sleep”…

It is not perfect – there are times when you feel less could have been more – but those times are rare, overall the ebb and flow of it is wonderfully accomplished and if you are a fan of tales set in this era you will find a lot to love here. Crime and Thriller fans will also be happy, the “whodunnit and why” portion of the story is brilliantly done and will test your mettle when it comes to working out what may be going on.

All in all then a first rate read and as a start to a series (so pleased that Gregor will return!) I can certainly highly recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling World War 11 German Detective Drama - well worth a read!, 10 Sept. 2014
This review is from: The Man from Berlin (Gregor Reinhardt) (Paperback)
Counterintelligence officer Captain Gregor Reinhardt, a former detective in the Berlin Kripo has been posted to war torn Sarajevo in 1943 to solve a messy double murder where the victims were another German officer and a beautiful local film maker and socialite.

The reader is soon drawn into the story where nothing is exactly what it seems.

Friends become enemies and enemies, friends, as alliances are forged out of necessity.

Reinhardt is a complex and conflicted individual with none of the insouciant and sardonic charm of perhaps his nearest counterpart, Bernie Gunther, the main character in Philip Kerr's similar series featuring another Kripo detective seeking to survive the onslaughts of the war.

Reinhardt feels the weight of the world on his shoulders, and has been deeply affected by the death of his wife, being ostracised by his fervent Nazi party member son and his horrendous experiences on the Eastern front.

He is seeking his own redemption by being seen to do the right thing.

He is relentless in his pursuit of the perpetrator despite all the efforts of his colleagues and superiors alike to avoid the political embarrassment that solving the murders might provide.

That is where the book begins to lose its way as it becomes stuck in internal politics with far too detailed descriptions of the inner workings and machinations of the various elements of the German army and their internal rivalries and politics.

McCallin is far more sure footed when describing the religious and political divides of the Croats and Serbs and Sarajevo itself and the city almost becomes the hero of the proceedings so sharply drawn are the descriptions of the city and its place in history.

Reinhardt is a sympathetic figure and you root for his success and only by solving the case will he perhaps find his own inner peace.

There is a satisfying twist at the end of the book and Reinhardt is left facing an almost impossible dilemma which sets the next book up perfectly in what is intended to become a series featuring a well drawn and sympathetic character.

A well written book that draws the reader in from the beginning and is highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Historical Thriller, 27 Nov. 2014
By 
atticusfinch1048 - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Man From Berlin, The (Paperback)
The Man From Berlin – Great Crime thriller

The Man from Berlin by Luke McCallin is an amazing crime thriller and even better as it is a first novel. There is a lot of huff n puff calling this a literary thriller, is that just to make the anal retentive literary types like the book too. This is a great thriller and better than any of the crap those literary types could ever produce.

Captain Gregor Reinhardt is in the Abwehr a former detective in the Berlin Police and decorated war veteran, before being shunted around due to not being a Nazi Party member. He is trying to keep his head down and let the war pass him by. It is 1943 and he Reinhardt is trying to be an intelligence officer in Sarajevo in the allied Bosnia, a land he recognises as brutal and unforgiving.

When the murder of socialite film maker and German propaganda film maker the beautiful Marija Vukic and Abwehr Lieutenant Stefan Hendel, a murder that should be investigated by the Military Police or local police has been assigned to Reinhardt. Little does he know how much he will have to take on while investigating the murder as Reinhardt wants to do everything by the book gather the evidence and then find the killer charge him and hand him over to the authorities for them to deal with.

Reinhardt finds that even though the investigation should be straight forward not only is he competing against the corrupt nature of the local Sarajevo Police he has to deal with a corrupt Nazi from his past in Major Becker of the Military Police. All seem to be throwing more spanners in the works than seems necessary the more the investigation goes on the more he realises his own life is in danger.

As he gets closer to the truth the closer to death Reinhardt becomes he can see this and does not hide from it. Reinhardt is too honest to be blown off course whether it be the Army, SS, Military Police or Partisans. It literally does become a fight to the death who dares wins and even that is not that clear at the end.

A fantastic thriller based in the war with all the internal politics that caused so much fear during the war. This is a well researched thriller in the background, in the knowledge of wartime Sarajevo which brings realism to a classic thriller. For a first book this is an excellent example of the thriller genre written like a hard bitten master of thrillers. I do hope this is the first of many, so well written the prose is dripping in imagery an accomplished wordsmith!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Man from Berlin, 3 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Man from Berlin (Gregor Reinhardt) (Paperback)
This is an intricate “who-dunnit” detective story set in 1940s German-occupied Yugoslavia. Captain Gregor Reinhardt has to search through a web of intrigue and deceit to find out who murdered a beautiful young filmmaker and a German officer. His investigation will uncover secrets which the military wants to keep covered and he will have to deal with his personal troubles, allies and enemies to uncover the truth.

This a very well researched book which transports you to war-time Sarajevo and the relations between the German military, Serbs, Croats and the Partisans. The description of the country, the streets of Sarajevo and the Yugoslav mountains was brilliant and the complicated relations between the German military, the Ustase and partisans was very well explained. Fans of Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series will enjoy Captain Reinhardt as a troubled and very human former Kripo detective dealing with personal issues and duty. He is a very well-rounded character which will do well in a series so I’m sure we will see more of him in later instalments.

This book as had many raving reviews which I agree with but at the same time I found the story was a little too long and it took me a bit to get gripped into the plot. Once I got into the intrigue of the characters and the secrets each held I really enjoyed it and the finale was really well done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant first book!, 7 Jan. 2015
By 
adihaworth (Haverfordwest) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Man From Berlin, The (Paperback)
Excellent first novel from McCallin. Thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Being thrown into the murky world of war torn Yugoslavia was a delight. Well characterised protagonist, Captain Rheinhardt is a very interesting character, with his past career in the police and the 1st World War trenches and seeing his actions from the German perspective is highly interesting.

I've actually just read his second book, 'The Pale House' which is possibly even better.

Very enjoyable. Can't wait for the third!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars McCallin has initiated what looks like a thrilling franchise, 16 Nov. 2014
This review is from: The Man from Berlin (Gregor Reinhardt) (Paperback)
In the tradition of the Berlin Noir series, and the Bernie Gunther novels, The Man From Berlin follows the travails of Gregor Reinhardt, a Captain in German Military Intelligence. Importantly, howoever, Reinhardt is no Nazi, and the book makes much of his internal struggle as he works within a regime he detests.

Reinhardt is stationed in a war ravaged Yugoslavia, The Nazis, and their Yugoslavian counterparts the Ustashe are ruthlessly hunting down the partisans in the mountains. Against this backdrop, Reinhardt investigates the savage murder of a glamorous, fanatical film-maker, and a high ranking German Officer. As Reinhardt delves deeper into the case, it becomes apparent that the murders reach much further into the fabric of the Yugoslavian conflict, and that things, and people, are not always what they seem.

McCallin has initiated what looks like a thrilling franchise. Reinhardt is a complex and intriguing character, a fundamentally good man, caught up in the machinations of a corrupt, genocidal regime. I look forward to the next instalment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Man from Berlin, 24 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: The Man from Berlin (Gregor Reinhardt) (Paperback)
Excellent book - weird title, considering the plot! And an even weirder and non-related picture on the front of the book. So, look past both and delve into the very human story line.

This book is well worth a read. You become an observer in the plot which unfolds, and if you are like me, sometime you are a non-silent observer [when you start shouting at the characters and have people on the plane give you funny looks.....]. Can't wait for the next in the sequel.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars World War II Murder Investigation, 7 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Man From Berlin, The (Paperback)
Military Intelligence officer and former policeman Captain Gregor Reinhardt is ordered to investigate the murder of a young female Yugoslav film-maker and a German officer. As the crime has taken place in Sarajevo in 1943 he has more to worry about than just his investigation as political and national factions, and the progress of the war, mean that making any progress towards finding the killer is like navigating a complicated and dangerous maze.

There’s quite a lot of reference material in this book – it begins with a guide to how to pronounce the Serb and Croat names and a comparative table of SS, German Army and British Army ranks, which made me think that what I was about to read would be extremely complicated and that I’d have to have my wits about me. There’s also a cast of characters at the end, which seemed to underline this theory. However, I didn’t refer to any of this guidance and managed the novel just fine. Some readers will like all this extra information as it increases the verisimilitude of the fiction and may help them get more deeply involved.

The concept of the novel reminded me of a film I haven’t seen for years - The Night of the Generals, made in the late 1960s and also focusing on the enquiry led by a German officer into the murder of a young woman. So when I picked the book up I felt I was on familiar ground, which helped me with some elements of the book which were either complicated or which worried me in one way or another.

It’s a given that the plot for this kind of historical crime novel will be labyrinthine, but this novel is especially so when you take the different political factions portrayed into account. At times I had to flick back and forward to remind myself of the difference between some of the groups discussed and I sometimes felt that the book wore its research quite heavily. However, once the background was established I needed to backtrack less often and could concentrate on the whodunit aspect.

Another given for crime novels of nearly all kinds is that the individual investigating the wrongdoing is a troubled person with dark secrets and terrible events in their past. This book certainly meets this requirement, and as we see everything from Reinhardt’s point of view (though the book is narrated in the third person) we get to see the full extent of his issues. As well as the archetype of the troubled detective, Reinhardt is also the archetypal “good German” – a man in, but not of, the Nazi army who can observe its brutalities yet still have the audience empathise with him. However I felt that he was more than just a stereotype and that he came across as a proper three-dimensional character, with strengths and flaws.

There aren’t many women in this book and the one under discussion most is the victim, Marija Vukic. It’s difficult to mention anything to do with her without giving important plot points away, but suffice it to say that I was quite uncomfortable with some elements of her portrayal which seemed to fall into some of the traps of more salacious types of crime fiction. There is an increasing, and I think, correct concern in some quarters about crime novels’ portrayal of women as victims of increasingly brutal crimes, with an implication that some types of character almost deserve their fate or have brought it upon themselves. This book seems to fall into that trap more than a book otherwise of this quality should.

All in all then, this is a complex, clever and engaging novel set in a hitherto relatively unused background which will be enjoyed by fans of historical crime fiction and of such authors as Martin Cruz Smith and CJ Sansom. Other than my concerns about the portrayal of women in the book I enjoyed it, but probably wouldn’t read any further books in what I assume will be a Gregor Reinhardt series.
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The Man from Berlin (Gregor Reinhardt)
The Man from Berlin (Gregor Reinhardt) by Luke McCallin (Paperback - 2 July 2013)
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