In the waning days of World War I, a horrific crime behind the lines sends Lieutenant Gregor Reinhardt on a search for a killer in this electrifying thriller from the author of The Man from Berlin.
It's the final days of the Great War and four years of grinding conflict has warped more than one man's mind. When a secret meeting of top brass is called, someone sets off a bomb that kills all the attendees. It looks for sure that one of the men in Gregor Reinhardt's company is the culprit. But since that man killed himself, the General is looking for someone else to share the blame. Reinhardt must prove his trooper innocent if he hopes to avoid the fate of a co-conspirator.
The search for answers leads Reinhardt deep into a potential conspiracy populated by mutinous soldiers, a mysterious Russian nobleman, and a pair of doctors who may be doing more than treating battlefield injuries. The trenches are home to any number of horrors, but what if the greatest danger is right next to you?
A high-stakes whodunit drives McCallin's excellent fourth mystery featuring German military intelligence officer Gregor Reinhardt (after 2016's The Divided City), a prequel set in 1918 France. One morning on the Western Front, Reinhardt, then a lieutenant in the German army, learns that one of the men under his command is accused of an atrocity. Private Willy Sattler is believed to have killed three German officers by blowing up a house where the officers were holding a secret meeting. Sattler apparently died by suicide shortly after the bombing, having been found "with a gunshot wound to his head and a pistol in his hand." There's plenty of reason to suspect Sattler, an explosives expert who planted a bomb with a delayed-action fuse in a Russian bunker the year before. Furthermore, Sattler had been demoted from the rank of sergeant after being charged with a variety of offenses, including assaulting a superior (Reinhardt himself), reckless endangerment of his own troops, and consorting with the enemy. Despite the mass of incriminating evidence, Reinhardt believes something more complicated is going on and investigates at great personal risk. McCallin makes the challenges of detection on the battlefield palpable. The setting, characterizations, and plotting will appeal to Charles Todd fans.
From A Dark Horizon
Exciting intense immersive read that I could not put down. Finished in two days. Loved the backstory of Gregor Reinhardt set in WW I. Twists and turns that I did not expect.