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on 2 June 2006
The characters don't really grab your attention or feel credible, the investigation of the murder proceeds eratically and terribly slowly, for no good reason - after eye-witness statements regarding the prime suspect's description and name/pseudonym, one detective is despatched to look through some records, while Berg, the main detective, meanders about on other matters! And he has absolutely no reaction - then or later - when he comes across the murdered body of his mistress, minutes after having killed to protect her! The whole book lacks believability.

Everyone acts like movie-Nazis (especially the bad ones who foam about jews), and everyone speaks in stilted and clunky WWII movie-German :

"May I ask why you're half-naked?"

"I am not naked - neither half nor whole"

"But neither are you in clothing";

- Berg, when asked if he wants something to eat : "Yes, that would be satisfying"...and so on.

There is no set pattern to the use of German words or terms in the book : most are italicised, as per normal practice, but then others are not, e.g. instead of communist and communism, the author uses Kommunist and Kommunism, both unitalicised - why?

For a period-set book I do like to feel the author knows the period, but you can overdo it...

Here there is an irritating overuse of irrelevant details, as if to show off the author's research : Berg's wife doesn't just hold a can of coffee - it's a 'red can of Onko coffee from bremen'; she doesn't just take a cigarette, oh no, it's ' a cigarette from a red-and-white Schimmelpennick tin'... in fact I think we get the brandname and packaging colours for three or four cigarette brands in the book. It's all unnecessary and overdone. However, the political setting is sketchy to say the least : for example, the author says that Kurt Eisner (a Kommunist, of course...) led a revolt, forcing the monarchy into exile, and was then 'elected Prime Minister of the Bavarian Republic', and had a utopian government etc. Eisner did indeed seize power and declared a republic, but how can you say he was 'elected'?

This was my first Faye Kellerman, and it will be my last.
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on 13 March 2006
Germany between the wars has recently provided fertile ground for some outstanding thrillers. Hot on the heels of Jeffrey Deaver's excellent "Garden of Beasts" we have Faye Kellerman's riveting "Straight Into Darkness."
I have read most of her Pete Decker novels, and all of husband Jonathan's Alex Delaware works, and, as good as they are, I can say without hesitation that "Straight Into Darkness" is the best and most memorable work penned by either Kellerman. While Deaver set his work in Berlin at around the time of the 1936 Olympics, Kellerman takes us back to Munich, in 1929.
While the book is a murder mystery on one level, it is a great deal more than that. Here we are taken back to a time when the Nazis are not yet in power, but are beginning to make their presence felt in no uncertain terms. This is the time that Hitler and his cohorts are just beginning to captivate the German nation. It paints a frightening and doubtless realistic picture of a nation about to descend into absolute madness.
As a case study of what took Germany down the ultimately self-destructive path of National Socialism, this book provides as good an overview as any dusty historical tome - and it is a great deal more readable, too. This cannot have been an easy book for a Jewish woman to pen, but Kellerman manages not to get preachy or sentimental about those objects of the Nazis' wrath (Jews, Communists, gypsies, etc.) whose worst nightmare has not even really begun at this time. Nor does she fall into the trap of being a little too clever, because she knows a great many things that the book's characters cannot yet know.
It's a great, memorable, and thought-provoking read. If I could give it a sixth star, I would without hestitation.
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on 12 August 2005
The characters don't really grab your attention or feel credible, the investigation of the murder proceeds erratically and terribly slowly, for no good reason - after eye-witness statements regarding the prime suspect's description and name/pseudonym, one detective is despatched to look through some records, while Berg,the main detective, meanders about on other matters! And he has absolutely no real reaction - then or later -when he comes across the murdered body of his mistress, minutes after having killed to protect her! The whole book lacks believability.
Everyone acts like movie-Nazis (especially the bad ones who foam about the Jews), and everyone speaks in stilted and clunky WWII movie-German -
'May I ask why you're half-naked?'
'I am not naked - neither half nor whole.'
' But neither are you in clothing.'
- Berg, when asked if he wants something to eat : 'Yes, that would be satisfying.' etc., etc.
There is no set pattern as to the use of German words or terms in the book : most words are italicised, as per normal practice, but then others are not, e.g. instead of communist and communism, the author uses Kommunist and Kommunismus, both unitalicised - why?
For a period-set book, I do like to feel the author knows the period, but you can overdo it...Here there is an irritating overuse of irrelevant detail, as if to show off the author's research : Berg's wife doesn't just hold a can of coffee - it's 'a red can of Onko Kaffee from Bremen'; she doesn't just take a cigarette, oh no, it's 'a cigarette from a red-and-white Schimmelpennick tin' - in fact I think we get the brandname and packaging colours for three or four cigarette brands in the book. It's all unnecessary and overdone. And the political setting is sketchy to say the least; for example, the author says that Kurt Eisner (a Kommunist, of course...) led a revolt, forcing the monarchy into exile, and was then 'elected Prime Minister of the Bavarian Republic', and had a utopian dream of government etc. Eisner did indeed seize power and declared a republic, but how can you say he was 'elected'?
This was my first Faye Kellermann, and it will be my last.
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on 16 July 2011
The reservations about 'Straight into Darkness' - the tendency to provide too much detail and the curious language - largely disappear in audio format. This is due to the brilliant narration which allows easy aural recognition of male and female, Bavarian and foreigner, aristocrat and underclass. The way the mystery unfolds, and its terrifying climax, together with the dark political backcloth and official intrique, makes this a very worthwhile 'listen'. Overall, this comes over as a well crafted audio book. I enjoyed it.
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on 13 July 2009
I discovered, after buying it, that Straight into the darkness was "labeled" as Historical book. Really, it's based on historically and very dramatic facts, but I think it's a very well plotted way to solve the mistery around the Murder of Rina's mother (a story inside the story in Street Dreams)happened in 1929 in Munich when Nazis were taking control of Germany.

Luciana
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on 30 May 2013
Another book by Faye which is not what you would expect, a bit of a history lesson. Not for fans of her later books.
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on 11 January 2017
Awful - got to page 250 and it really wasn't going anywhere. I never give up with a book but this I had to.
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on 30 November 2007
I must begin by saying that upon starting the book things didn't bode well. An author who finds it necessary to repeatedly describe hair as "tresses" and have their characters "clad in..." instead of "wearing" clothes is, in my opinion, unlikely to have much genuine artistry but it's worth persevering in this instance.

Kellerman has created her own mini-Oskar Schindler in the lead character of Berg; "the good Gentile". He's a complex, amoral and not particularly sympathetic "hero" - and all the more interesting for that.

There are a couple of unnecessary plot-holes/clunkers that her editor really should have picked up on but, those aside, I found it a fascinating read. There's real depth to the historical content and it is genuinely evocative of a time and place that continues to attract and repel in fairly equally measure.

Flawed but a brave attempt. And definitely worth a read.
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on 10 June 2016
good
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on 11 January 2008
This book is absolutely amazing. It is complex and problematic in that there are two tragedies luming. The death of these women and the rise of "the Austrian". I think it really potrays the characters emotions well...shock, dismay, morbid fear. I think it also tries to answer that age old question that people ask: How could that guy ever come to power? Germans during this time in world history are vilified and I think this book really speaks the German pysche before he came to power...In short I am lovin it.
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