Set between the deportation of 12,000 Polish Jews from Germany in October 1938 and the Kristallnacht pogrom of November that year, the Nazi background of this novel is portrayed with a chilling sense of authenticity. Hannah Vogel is a Germany(Aryan) journalist from Berlin who has been forced to leave Germany after various run-ins with the Gestapo. But when she learns of a two-year old child left behind when her pregnant mother is deported to Poland, she is forced to return.
This is the fourth in the Hannah Vogel series but the first that I have read: it's not a problem coming to the series so late as the past is re-hashed well enough in this book though perhaps some of the nuances in the personal relationships would be better understood by reading the books in order.
There is much that I enjoyed about this book: the historical background (though there might perhaps be a little too much hindsight involved); the political and philosophical position that even one person by standing up to evil can still make a difference; the tense relationship between Hannah and Lars; the sense of danger in Berlin.
I did feel, however, that the `it's personal' plot becomes very far-fetched and is, frankly, a cliché of crime/mystery thrillers which I didn't expect in a book which is, in lots of ways, classier and more sophisticated than that.
But small plot niggles aside, I like Hannah's brisk voice with its sometimes mordant sense of humour, and the setting in the run-up to the Holocaust and WW2 is exceptionally well conveyed. This is a book which draws us very successfully into its dark world which yet still contains gleams of hope and humanity - and I'll certainly go back to read the earlier books in the series.
This is the latest Hannah Vogel book, the historical crime series set in Nazi Germany in the 1930s. It is set a few years after book 3. Hannah puts herself in danger returning to Nazis Germany to trace the child of an ex-boyfriend.
I love this book and this series. It invites you into a world where danger, discrimination and violence are every day. The Jews have their rights withdrawn from society, being denied work and socially isolated. Gay people are persecuted and have fake marriages to protect themselves. It is a world where people wanted by the Nazis will be tortured and killed.
I absolutely cannot wait til book 5 is published. This is such an amazing series. I want to know what will happen next to Hannah, Anton and Lars.
on 8 March 2014
A brilliant story following Hannah Vogel and Anton's journey from Switzerland to Poland and back to Berlin with all the horrors of the Nazis and Gestapo. I would highly recommend all of the Hannah Vogel books, once you start reading them you can't put them down. I know there is going to be another one probably next year, I can't wait.