Third in the series..,
This review is from: A Game of Lies (Hannah Vogel) (Hardcover)
Rebecca Cantrell's new novel, "A Game of Lies", is the third in her Hannah Vogel series. It's better than the second but not as good as her first one. (At least the trend is on the upswing!). Hannah Vogel was a reporter for "Berliner Tageblatt", the liberal German newspaper in the late 1920's - early 1930's, writing the crime column called "Peter Weill", which she had taken over from the previous "Peter Weill" (the "real" "Peter Weill"). After the Nazis came to power in 1933, she left the paper and eventually Germany. The two previous books in the series are about her brother's death, the adoption of a young boy who may - or may not - have been the son of Ernst Rohm, Hitler's chief of the SA who was killed by Hitler in the "Night of the Long Knives". All the background is real, but Hannah Vogel, the first-person narrator of the books is fictional, as is her adopted son.
In the third book, Hannah returns to Germany from her self-imposed exile in Switzerland to cover the Swiss Olympic team in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. She's also back to do a little spying, which she has done several times in the past few years, serving as a courier of information unfavorable to the Nazi government to contacts in England. Her son is back in Switzerland in the care of her former boyfriend and Hannah - who is traveling under an alias - is anxious to finish her reporting/spying and return to her son and the safety of Switzerland. However, is as the case in every mystery, Hannah comes across - literally - several murders and people of murky allegiances and problems and danger are her constant companions. (As there is already a fourth "Hannah Vogel" novel in the works, you can imagine things turn out okay in the end).
As a reader and reviewer, I was left with the thought that perhaps "Hannah Vogel" has run her course. The "perils of Pauline" theme of the book seems to have pretty much been exhausted by book three. And yet the book - and the characters - is interesting. If I were to give unsolicited advise to author Rebecca Cantrell, I'd advise her to write about the same period but concentrate on a different character for plot and back story. There were several minor characters in "Game" I found quite interesting and would like to know more about them. Take the focus off Hannah and put it on someone else. Of course, we all know what "unsolicited advise" is worth...
I can recommend "Game", particularly to those who have read the first two books in the series. I just wish Cantrell would widen her scope a little.