Three plays (A Black Cat book)

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9780394177441: Three plays (A Black Cat book)

The war may be over but the killing goes on. It is Berlin, 1945, and the uneasy peace between the occupying Americans and the vanquished Germans is tested once again by the discovery of the body of a beautiful young woman near the Yanks’ “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” military station. American captain John Ashburner and German detective Klaus Dietrich quickly realize that to solve this brutal killing now just the first salvo in what is becoming a mass-murder spree of pretty young women they must join forces.

Against the backdrop of a city struggling to come to terms with the horrors of World War II, Berlin is an atmospheric whodunit of intertwined dramas, ofpeople whose past overwhelms their present. Already a bestseller in Germany, and translated into eight languages, Berlin is a potent mix of fast-paced crime thriller, powerful love story and a compelling portrait of the legacy of war that satisfies on every level.

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About the Author:

PIERRE FREI was born in 1930 and grew up in Berlin. He worked as a freelance foreign correspondent, reporting from Rome, Cairo, New York and London. Since 1990 he has lived in the southwest of France.

From Booklist:

Late 1945, as the blasted city is being carved up by its conquerors, a killer on a motorbike is carving up blue-eyed blonds in the American sector. As the victims fall, their lives unfold before our eyes in leisurely narratives: aspiring film ingenue Karin navigates the treacherous waters of Nazi showbiz; mother Helga attempts to save her retarded son from ruthless eugenics. There is a palling sameness to the manner in which each woman happens upon her doom loitering on the doorstep of her salvation, but the novel's emphasis is less on building tension than on a panoramic portrait of a nation seduced and raped by Hitler and his Reich. Most vivid is the depiction of postwar Berlin, especially as seen through the eyes of a German cop's teenage son, Ben, who negotiates the ravaged city in quest of a new suit of clothes with all the entrepreneurial flair of Tom Sawyer. Not a typical thriller, this may not appeal to all fans of Alan Furst and J. Robert Janes, but it will please those with an interest in the era. David Wright
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