In the newest novel from internationally-bestselling author Ronald. H. Balson, Liam and Catherine come to the aid of an old friend and are drawn into a property dispute in Tuscany that unearths long-buried secrets
An old friend calls Catherine Lockhart and Liam Taggart to his famous Italian restaurant to enlist their help. His aunt is being evicted from her home in the Tuscan hills by a powerful corporation claiming they own the deeds, even though she can produce her own set of deeds to her land. Catherine and Liam’s only clue is a bound handwritten manuscript, entirely in German, and hidden in its pages is a story long-forgotten…
Ada Baumgarten was born in Berlin in 1918, at the end of the war. The daughter of an accomplished first-chair violinist in the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic, and herself a violin prodigy, Ada’s life was full of the rich culture of Berlin’s interwar society. She formed a deep attachment to her childhood friend Kurt, but they were torn apart by the growing unrest as her Jewish family came under suspicion. As the tides of history turned, it was her extraordinary talent that would carry her through an unraveling society turned to war, and make her a target even as it saved her, allowing her to move to Bologna—though Italy was not the haven her family had hoped, and further heartache awaited.
What became of Ada? How is she connected to the conflicting land deeds of a small Italian villa? As they dig through the layers of lies, corruption, and human evil, Catherine and Liam uncover an unfinished story of heart, redemption, and hope—the ending of which is yet to be written.
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Customer ReviewsSee All
A gripping story
The story is gripping but could have been shorter by eliminating some of the details of the Opera .
In Italy, a lawyer representing a powerful company, handed Gabi, an eviction notice. He told her that the deed that she held to the land was not valid. The elderly woman was given only sixty days to evacuate. Out of desperation, Gabi’s nephew, pleaded with his American friends, Catherine and Liam, a lawyer and private investigator team, to help. The two Americans were not sure that they would be of any real assistance to Gabi until they read Ada Baumgarten’s memoir.
Ada Baumgarten wrote about her life, as a Jew, living in Germany and Italy, under Hitler’s rule. As her memoir unfolded, Ada’s world, came alive for Catherine and Liam. Because Ada was a professional violinist, she was given more liberties than the average Jewish girl. But, that didn’t stop the Nazis from trying to remove everything that she loved from her. Unfortunately, Ada had embarrassed an SS soldier, and that Nazi, was not about to let the incident go until he had his revenge.
The book alternates between the 1930s and 2017. It tells the poignant story about Hitler’s rise to power in Germany, the atrocities the Nazis carried out in his name, and the influence Hitler had in Europe. The Girl from Berlin is a well-written and captivating novel.
Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.