- 59,00 kr
1933: A homeless veteran is found dead under railway arches in Berlin, apparently killed by an army dagger. Gereon Rath is brought onto the case just as the Reichstag mysteriously burns down. Unsettled by the Nazis’ tightening grip, he and Charlotte Ritter must also contend with their political colleagues. The new Germany is frightening, but police work must go on even among book-burning and marching, rising paranoia and fear.
Set in 1933, Kutscher's fifth mystery featuring Berlin police detective Gereon Rath (after 2019's The Fatherland Files) cleverly integrates the tensions around the Reichstag fire into a baffling whodunit. Both Rath and his fianc e, fellow cop Charly Ritter, become involved in probing an unusual murder. A dead tramp fatally stabbed through one nostril has been discovered near a railway line. Papers identify him as WWI veteran Heinrich Wosniak, who previously survived a gruesome crime; two years earlier, he was one of 10 beggars whose shack had been set on fire, killing seven. Charged with the attack was the daughter of one of the dead men, 15-year-old Hannah Singer, who was found at the scene of the crime with the matches used to start the fatal blaze. During her multiple interrogations, Singer remained mute, leaving her motive obscure. Since Hannah has since been confined in an asylum, she's not suspected of the current murder, which was committed with an unusual weapon used by German soldiers in WWI. Kutscher makes the increasing anxiety of Rath and Ritter palpable as the Nazis' grip on power tightens, creating tension even in a situation where the reader knows how the struggle for control of Germany turns out. Sharply observed period details reflect the author's thorough research. Philip Kerr fans will be pleased.