The Man From Berlin, Luke McCallin

The Man From Berlin opening line: Reinhardt shuddered awake, again, clawing himself up from that dream, that nightmare of a winter field, the indolent drift of smoke and mist along the hummocked ground, the staccato line of the condemned and the children’s screams.

The Man From Berlin
The Man From Berlin

It has taken me a month to read a book. This is most unusual, but hopefully the review will explain why.

The book is set in Sarajevo in May of 1943. As you can see from the opening line, each sentence takes a long time to read. And the story takes a bit of concentration to follow for a few reasons. The first being is I was not always quite sure of the “back” story to the characters. This was provided at the end of the book which by then was rendered useless. The second reason is that the author insisted on using the German terms for the army personnel. Even though the English equivalents were given at the beginning of the book, I think it would have sufficed to ‘translate’ everything into English for the readers. The foreign words could have been replaced with English words to make the reading easier.

Despite the difficulty in reading this book, I enjoyed it. It provided me with some insight into the area and offers a different story to what one has come to expect from books written around World War II. Reinhardt is the central character and he has to solve a double murder, as well as unleash the demons tormenting him. He fought for a Germany he believed in during WWI but he does not have the same loyalty to his country this time. It is this conflict that allows him to solve the murders and move on with his life.

First published in 2013 by The Berkley Publishing Group

ISBN 978-0-425-26305-1.

Paperback. 435 pages.

Disclaimer: I was sent the book to review by Penguin Books South Africa. I was not required to write a positive review. This disclaimer is in line with my blogging policy.

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