The latest mystery from a two-time winner of the Arthur Ellis Award
Father Brennan Burke is struggling, and he’s been coping the only way he knows how: self-medicating with drink. He’s barely managing, but his troubles intensify when the body of one of his parishioners washes up on the coast of Halifax.
Meika Keller came to Canada after escaping past a checkpoint in the Berlin Wall. An army colonel is charged with her murder, and defence lawyer Monty argues that Meika’s death was a suicide, which is the last thing Father Burke wants to hear. Guilty of neglecting his duties as a priest when Meika needed him most, Brennan feels compelled to uncover whatever instigated her cry for help and led to her death.
The story takes us from the historic Navy town of Halifax, Nova Scotia, to the history-laden city of Berlin, as Brennan and his brother Terry head to Germany in search of answers. And while Brennan will stop at nothing to find what, or who, is responsible for Meika’s death, nothing could have prepared the priest for the events that unfold.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
What happens when a crime-solving team suddenly find themselves at odds with each other? Anne Emery’s long-running mystery series is built on the unlikely partnership between Halifax defence attorney Monty Collins and Irish Catholic priest Brennan Burke. But at the start of Postmark Berlin, the duo is on the outs, due in no small part to Father Burke’s ramped-up drinking problem. It doesn’t help when, right in the middle of a bender, Father Burke discovers a member of his flock dead—and he refuses to believe Collins’ conclusion that it was a suicide. We couldn’t get enough of Emery’s gritty, hardboiled style, especially the main characters’ snappy and wisecracking dialogue. Burke’s inner conflict as an alcoholic and a man of God takes the story to a deeper, more emotional level, turning an immersive, character-driven mystery into a compelling drama as well. This book made us want to go back and read the earlier books in the Collins-Burke series.
At the start of Arthur Ellis Award winner Emery's gripping 11th Collins-Burke mystery (after 2018's Though the Heavens Fall), Fr. Brennan Burke gets a visit from his bishop in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The bishop berates Burke for having been drunk the night before and forgetting to meet with a parishioner, Meika Keller, who wanted to talk to him. Meika's body had washed up on a Halifax beach that morning. Alban MacNair, a neighbor of Meika who was seen arguing with her, is charged with her murder. Burke's lawyer friend, Monty Collins, who defends MacNair in court, says that it's a case of suicide. Feeling guilty, Burke sets out to discover what happened to Meika. Guided by a postcard showing the former East German Stasi headquarters sent to Meika with a Berlin postmark, Burke travels to what was once East Berlin, from where Meika claimed to have escaped with her young daughter in 1974. The roller-coaster ride to learn who Meika was and what led to her death will keep the reader guessing along with Burke and Collins. Fans of analytic detective stories will be pleased.