HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell
Loading...

A Trace of Smoke (edition 2010)

by Rebecca Cantrell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2372548,722 (3.88)20
Member:natazouf
Title:A Trace of Smoke
Authors:Rebecca Cantrell
Info:Forge Books (2010), Edition: 1, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:policier, Hannah Vogel

Work details

A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell

  1. 00
    The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: There's a sense of inevitability in these historical mysteries, which take place at the close (The Light in the Ruins) or just before (A Trace of Smoke) World War II and star female leads with personal ties to their investigations.
None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 20 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Crime reporter of the Berliner Tageblatt, Hannah Vogel, masquerades under the name Peter Weill to disguise the fact that the tough-writing hardened journalist is really only a woman, while her brother Anton disguises his manhood in the guise of a flamboyant cross-dressing lounge singer performing in the fashionable gay clubs of Berlin in the early 1930s.
When Hannah recognizes her brother’s photograph on display in the Hall of The Unnamed Dead in the basement of the Berlin police station, she is thrown in a mystery. It will take every ounce of the investigative reporter she really wants to be in order to discover how her younger brother’s body ended up in the river and placed alongside all the other unidentified bodies found by the police.
Fired from her job and on the run from Hitler’s storm troopers, her investigation leads her to top ranking gay Nazi party leaders such as Ernst Rohm. She attempts to blackmail Rohm over sexually graphic letters she discovered in her brother’s possession in order to coerce the truth while kidnapping a young boy that Rohm is using in order to present his more austere front.
Historically correct in the treatment of its setting from places to dates and politics to dramatics, “A Trace of Smoke” sucks you in like an unfiltered cigarette, burns as you breathe it out, but ultimately satisfies like only a true mystery can.
( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
Crime reporter of the Berliner Tageblatt, Hannah Vogel, masquerades under the name Peter Weill to disguise the fact that the tough-writing hardened journalist is really only a woman, while her brother Anton disguises his manhood in the guise of a flamboyant cross-dressing lounge singer performing in the fashionable gay clubs of Berlin in the early 1930s.
When Hannah recognizes her brother’s photograph on display in the Hall of The Unnamed Dead in the basement of the Berlin police station, she is thrown in a mystery. It will take every ounce of the investigative reporter she really wants to be in order to discover how her younger brother’s body ended up in the river and placed alongside all the other unidentified bodies found by the police.
Fired from her job and on the run from Hitler’s storm troopers, her investigation leads her to top ranking gay Nazi party leaders such as Ernst Rohm. She attempts to blackmail Rohm over sexually graphic letters she discovered in her brother’s possession in order to coerce the truth while kidnapping a young boy that Rohm is using in order to present his more austere front.
Historically correct in the treatment of its setting from places to dates and politics to dramatics, “A Trace of Smoke” sucks you in like an unfiltered cigarette, burns as you breathe it out, but ultimately satisfies like only a true mystery can.
( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
Crime reporter of the Berliner Tageblatt, Hannah Vogel, masquerades under the name Peter Weill to disguise the fact that the tough-writing hardened journalist is really only a woman, while her brother Anton disguises his manhood in the guise of a flamboyant cross-dressing lounge singer performing in the fashionable gay clubs of Berlin in the early 1930s.
When Hannah recognizes her brother’s photograph on display in the Hall of The Unnamed Dead in the basement of the Berlin police station, she is thrown in a mystery. It will take every ounce of the investigative reporter she really wants to be in order to discover how her younger brother’s body ended up in the river and placed alongside all the other unidentified bodies found by the police.
Fired from her job and on the run from Hitler’s storm troopers, her investigation leads her to top ranking gay Nazi party leaders such as Ernst Rohm. She attempts to blackmail Rohm over sexually graphic letters she discovered in her brother’s possession in order to coerce the truth while kidnapping a young boy that Rohm is using in order to present his more austere front.
Historically correct in the treatment of its setting from places to dates and politics to dramatics, “A Trace of Smoke” sucks you in like an unfiltered cigarette, burns as you breathe it out, but ultimately satisfies like only a true mystery can.
( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
I've heard nothing but good things about Rebecca Cantrell's Hannah Vogel series, and I finally decided that it was time to put all that praise to the test. A Trace of Smoke passed with flying colors. What a sense of place and time! Reminiscent of "Cabaret," yet so much more. Cantrell makes crystal clear the grinding poverty, the sense of desperation and hopelessness that the vast majority of Germans had to face each and every day. Looming over all is an almost overwhelming feeling of tension and dread-- mostly brought on by my own knowledge of what is to come. That, to me, is one of the strengths of this book: Cantrell doesn't spell out this foreboding; she knows enough to state the facts and let the readers supply it for themselves.

Hannah is hampered in what she can do to investigate her brother's death because of her lack of identification. The reason why she doesn't have it proves which side of the Nazi question she's on. Furthermore, yes, her brother Ernst's life was "exotic," but that isn't the real issue here. His presence is clearly felt throughout the book because of Hannah's love and grief. I felt I knew this young man even though he's never seen alive. Another strong character is little Anton. He's an extremely brave, intelligent little boy who's experienced too much during his five years on earth.

Hannah is both the strength and the weakness in this book. The picture she paints of her world is vivid. I experienced what she lived through as I read each chapter. But Hannah's inner thoughts are a bit clunky from time to time. Too many scenes end with her in tears or almost in tears. It's far from being a deal breaker for me. If I had to live through what Hannah did, I'd be exhausted and probably on the verge of tears even before my brother was murdered.

What matters is that I was completely lost in Rebecca Cantrell's setting, characters, and story. She shows the best and the worst of the German character. In A Trace of Smoke, decent Germans-- Jew and Gentile alike-- are set against the Nazis, and I have to know what happens next. ( )
  cathyskye | Jul 30, 2015 |
It's 1931 in Germany and the Nazis are on the rise, but not yet in control of the country. Hannah Vogel is a reporter who writes a regular crime column under the name Peter Weill. As she is looking at the photos of corpses in the Hall of the Unnamed Dead at a police station, she sees a picture of her brother, who has been stabbed in the heart. She can't report it to the police that her brother has been killed, because she and he have allowed their identity papers to be used by a Jewish friend who is fleeing the country, and they have not been returned to her yet. So, she starts investigating how he died. This brings her into his world – he was a gay, transvestite performer in a Berlin cabaret – and into great danger, because her brother is being treatened to return something to a powerful Nazi. And things get more complicated when a young boy shows up at her door, claiming that her brother is his father, and that she is her mother, with a birth certificate to prove it.
I mostly enjoyed this book. I like books set in this period and it gives a good sense of life in that time and place. ( )
  BillPilgrim | Jul 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765320444, Hardcover)

Even though hardened crime reporter Hannah Vogel knows all too well how tough it is to survive in 1931 Berlin, she is devastated when she sees a photograph of her brother’s body posted in the Hall of the Unnamed Dead. Ernst, a cross-dressing lounge singer at a seedy nightclub, had many secrets, a never-ending list of lovers, and plenty of opportunities to get into trouble.

Hannah delves into the city’s dark underbelly to flush out his murderer, but the late night arrival of a five-year-old orphan on her doorstep complicates matters. The endearing Anton claims that Hannah is his mother… and that her dead brother Ernst is his father.

As her investigations into Ernst’s murder and Anton's parentage uncover political intrigue and sex scandals in the top ranks of the rising Nazi party, Hannah fears not only for her own life, but for that of a small boy who has come to call her “mother.”

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:33 -0400)

"Hardened crime reporter Hannah Vogel knows all too well how tough it is to survive in 1931 Berlin. Still, she is devastated when she sees a photograph of her brother's body posted in the Hall of the Unnamed Dead." "Ernst, a cross-dressing lounge singer in a seedy nightclub, had many secrets, a never-ending list of lovers, and plenty of opportunities to get into trouble. While attempting to maintain her budding romance with a handsome upstanding banker, Hannah delves into the city's dark underbelly to flush out the murderer who stabbed her beloved brother in the heart." "The late-night arrival of a five-year-old orphan on her doorstep complicates matters. The endearing Anton claims that Hannah's dead brother is his father and that, impossibly, she is his mother."."Now Hannah must find not only her brother's murderer but Anton's real parents, a task that seems impossible since all traces of his past have vanished. As her investigations uncover political intrigue and sex scandals in the top ranks of the rising Nazi party, Hannah fears not only for her own life, but for that of a small boy who calls her "Mother.""--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
35 wanted2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.88)
0.5
1
1.5
2 4
2.5 4
3 10
3.5 11
4 32
4.5 3
5 18

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 103,248,478 books! | Top bar: Always visible