Shortlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger
Sarajevo, 1943: Marija Vukic, a beautiful young filmmaker and socialite, and a German officer are brutally murdered. Assigned to the case is military intelligence officer Captain Gregor Reinhardt.
Already haunted by his wartime actions and the mistakes he’s made off the battlefield, he soon finds that his investigation may be more than just a murder - and that the late Yugoslav heroine may have been more treacherous than anyone knew.
Reindhardt manoeuvres his way through a minefield of political, military, and personal agendas, as a trail of dead bodies leads him to a secret hidden within the ranks of the powerful - a secret they will do anything to keep.
'Reinhardt is a terrific creation' - Times
'What makes the book terrific is the humanity and hope that shine through even the darkest of scenes' - Herald
'If you like Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther books, you will love The Ashes of Berlin. Luke McCallin has skilfully crafted an atmospheric and gripping tale set amid the ruins of a war ravaged city that feels wholly authentic. Historical fiction at its best' – Howard Linskey, author of Behind Dead Eyes
Look out for other books in the Gregor Reinhardt series: The Pale House and The Ashes of Berlin
Set in 1943 Sarajevo, McCallin's well-wrought debut, the first in a new series, highlights the complexities of trying to be an honest cop under a vicious, corrupt regime. The murders of Lt. Stefan Hendel, a German military intelligence officer, and Marija Vukic, a Croatian journalist, pose a considerable challenge for Capt. Gregor Reinhardt, an Abwehr counterintelligence officer partnered with a member of the Sarajevo police force. The killer or killers shot the lieutenant before savagely stabbing Vukic to death. Since the truth behind the murders could prove embarrassing to the Nazis, Reinhardt is under considerable pressure to find a scapegoat and close the case. Inevitably, he clashes with dangerous people, including a former colleague from his days in the Berlin Kripo. The ending sets up the sequel nicely, and if McCallin isn't at the level of a Philip Kerr, his work will provide intelligent diversion for WWII crime fans.