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The Cleaner

The Cleaner

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Recently added bypluckedhighbrow, ttsheehan

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1985 and East Germany is a place of secrets where the Stasi know all. A young girl is brought into the Yuri Gagarin home and her identity is changed. Years later and the adult, now called Judith, works as a crime scene cleaner, she has suffered addiction and a lack of a sense of belonging. However one day the crime scene she is sent to clean up contains secrets from her own past and suddenly Judith Kepler is wanted by the police and the CIA amongst others because she may have the secret files showing double agents from the 1980s.

There is actually quite an interesting story at the heart of this book, an East German family wanting to escape to the west and holding powerful secrets that thirty years later still need to be suppressed. Unfortunately all of this is wrapped up in a rather run of the mill thriller. Judith is a former heroin addict, now working as a cleaner but somehow she is imbued with superhuman skills - if this were a film and Judith were male then it would be the perfect Jason Statham vehicle! ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
This is the first German crime novel I’ve read and it made me feel like I was watching one of those old espionage films. It’s definitely for fans of spy driven novels – think German version of Jack Reacher without as much action or a cute spy you could picture your favorite action star stepping into the role.

The plot line is a clever thriller full of twists you don’t see coming as Elisabeth Hermann did a good job with the mystery and backstory as her research skills showed through quite well. She has a good writing style that flows and keeps you intrigued along with, at times, a bit scared for your safety as it seriously makes you consider how far governments will stretch their reach and resources in the name of justice. A bit of the ends justifies the means kind of thing.

She has a detailed sense in her writing of characters and scenes that are illustrated to just this side of overkill in some areas but stops short of being long-winded. She really pulls you into all of her characters whether they are minor or a major part of moving the story along. She did a good job on characterization as the emotions, motivations and actions of the main character, Judith, seemed credible and reality based but she was also able to do that for the rest as well which was surprising for a spy novel.

If you like some history thrown into your novels then you should enjoy the Cold War aspects with spies, agents, and double agents all waiting to thrill you. ( )
  ttsheehan | Feb 9, 2017 |
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