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  • Germania

    In Germania, mixing fact with fiction, author Harald Gilbers has a serial killer on the loose in 1944 Germany. The hunt for the killer teams up an unlikely pair, a former Jewish Inspector and an officer in Hilter's army. I want to thank NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an early copy to review.

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  • Slow pace, but perfect for the story.

    Germania by Harald Gilbers is proof that a translated book can be done well. I read pretty fast, but Germania took a week to read. It wasn’t that it was boring, but it is different then serial killer or thriller books written by American authors. While it kept me turning the page because I wanted to find out what would happen next, it didn’t have that frantic pass of an investigation that I am used to. Add in all the German history and places that I am not familiar with, and it had me slowing down even more so I didn’t miss any of the details. The slow tempo worked well in Germania though. It helped to emphasize the drudgery and waiting that people were feeling during the war. Even the bomb sirens meant that one would be waiting for hours in the shelters, with little to do but sleep and worry. Gilbers was able to combine the horrors of war and what horrible things people do to each other, right alongside the good in people. The simple act of the madam of a brothel giving the Jewish protagonist some extra money because she understood how cruel the world is, was just one of many examples. So many historical fiction novels about WWII deal with either the battles or the concentration camps, so I really enjoyed the different premise of Germania. You get to read about the relationships between Germans who truly felt that they were superior, Germans who couldn’t fathom what their country was doing, Jewish people who were trying to just survive, and how Jews and Germans survived together. I can see how the ending may be disappointing to some people who are used to the killer being caught and a “happy” ending. Germania does not give the reader that, instead it shows the true ending for many who lived through WWII.

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  • Serial Killer in Nazi Germany

    I found this book fascinating. There's a serial killer in Nazi Germany. The war isn't going well and Nazi leaders certainly don't need such news to get out to the general public. To try to track down the killer as quickly and quietly as possibly, they break down and call in a homicide detective who's been inactive for a few years - because he's Jewish. He's distrustful of their motives (for obvious reasons) and is put in an impossible situation, knowing there's probably no good outcome for him - but decides he has no choice and must work with them. In return he's viewed with distrust from all sides - he walks a tightrope between his home life and his work life. I found it all to be well done, and enjoyed watching Richard Oppenheimer teach his Nazi cohorts some lessons in murder investigation. It appears that this is the first in a series, and I will definitely be on the lookout for the next book. Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for providing a copy for an unbiased review.

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