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Straight into Darkness by Faye Kellerman
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Straight into Darkness (2005)

by Faye Kellerman

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3.5 stars

It is the 1920s in Germany. Hitler is becoming more popular, and Jews and other minorities are becoming targets of violence. Axel Berg is a detective with the Munich police force, but police are not always respected, either. Women are being murdered and Axel is trying to find out who did it, despite, at least in the case of the first murder, his boss wanting him to just pin it on the woman's husband (who is Jewish). Even if they are wrong, it doesn't matter because it looks like they are doing something about it, and the man is Jewish, anyway, so no big deal if he's arrested wrongly. Axel doesn't agree with that attitude.

I liked this. I think the author did a really good job of bringing this time frame to life, plus it was an interesting mystery. But, I think the historical parts of it were just done so well, and that's what stood out for me. There were a couple times where Axel was helping provide security at Hitler's rallies, and it just felt like you were there. Scary... I'm not sure I'll seek out another book by Kellerman, but if something comes to my attention and is a topic I'm interested in, I just might pick it up ( )
  LibraryCin | Mar 27, 2016 |
This stand-alone detective story set in late 1920's Munich can be a complement to part of Faye Kellerman's Street Dreams. Straight into Darkness is a well constructed, clever historical detective story. ( )
  BridgitDavis | Feb 12, 2016 |
Transferred from my spreadsheet to Goodreads
  sally906 | Apr 3, 2013 |
Substance: A searing look into Germany in the time of Hitler's ascension, and the world-views that made his rise possible. The story of the Police Homicide Inspector caught up in politics and murder is intriguing, and the protagonist a sympathetic and ultimately heroic, if flawed, character.
The evocative view of Weimar Germany through a Bavarian lens is used to discuss the political and social climate that Hitler manipulated, and show the people who saw the danger concomitant to his popularity, athough sometimes Kellerman stretches to bring into the story elements of the milieu that seem to be there just to complete the record.
Style: Outstanding as a novel; as a mystery, not so much. No relevant clues to the perpetrator are planted (one minor conversation 250+ pages beforehand is not sufficient for fair play with the reader), nor any to the major plot-turns of the final chapters and the motivations of the actors that make them. Frequently mentioned "clues" (missing shoes) are left hanging as loose ends, and the Freudian speculations on motive are not carried through to the end.
Although Kellerman uses German words and phrases to good advantage in setting the milieu, she is inconsistent (why "Kommunismus" but not "Juden"?)
And the "frame" is not really necessary to the story.
RATING: PG-13 for language, violence, sexual situations.
Special note: Acknowledges assistance from Franz Geiger of the White Rose resistance group, most of whom were executed by Hitler.
NOTES:
p. 139: Why does Commisioner Volker encourage Inspector Berg to arrest the Jew Gross for his wife's murder, even though both men realize he is probably innocent, but resist the same suggestion from his own superiors?
p. 187: "I believe I am done when I have nothing more to add. The work may not be exactly what I want. But adding new material will not help. So I surrender to my imperfections, curse my inability to translate to the brush what is in m head, and say, 'I quit'."..."That is the frustrating part...To see it so clearly i my brain but lack the skills to put it down on canvas."
p. 211: "I know you do not approve of Herr Hitler. You think he is a thug, and maybe he is. Still, if we don't stand up for ourselves, who will stand up for us?"..."And who is trying to keep us down, Jaochim?...As painful as it is to admit, the fault cannot lie exclusively with the Jews....(and others)...At some point we...the German people...must take responsibility for our own messes...We went to war and we lost. And that, my dear son, is not the fault of the Jews." ( )
  librisissimo | Jan 11, 2012 |
I thought this was quite good, and a departure for Mrs. Kellerman. Axel Berg is not the morally sound police detective you're used to seeing as the main character in a novel like this. Berg is flawed and imperfect and realistic, much like Munich itself in 1929. The roiling political climate makes an excellent backdrop to the story. The end is unexpected, but not unthinkable. ( )
  miyurose | Dec 12, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446611506, Mass Market Paperback)

New York Times bestselling author Kellerman traveled to Germany for the meticulous research conducted for this new novel that takes readers on an edge-of-your-seat journey to 1920s Munich: a city stalked by a ruthless killer.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:17 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A homicide inspector in 1920s Munich hunts for a serial killer.

» see all 7 descriptions

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