Straight into Darkness
Straight Into Darkness is a departure from Kellerman’s Lazarus/Decker mystery series, and she handles this dark historical turn into the turbulent times preceding World War II quite masterfully.
Inspektor Alex Berg, head of Munich’s Homicide Unit, is surrounded by the boding evil of a rising Hitler and his Brown Shirts, simmering racism, corrupt politics and three brutal murders. As Hitler incites the city to revolt against the Social Democrats, gays, gypsies, and above all the Jews, Berg must race in opposition to his superiors and time to hunt down the “Munich Monster” before the killer strikes again. The author uses the city as a character: its smells, actions, and different communities. She allows Berg to navigate and intermingle with it, using his prowess and anger to command results he not only seeks, but are demanded of him in dictator-like fashion. The suspense is ongoing, if a bit repetitive, but the conclusion is unforeseen and forceful.
Kellerman has created with tremendous flair an intelligent thriller with an inconsistent, realistically flawed protagonist. Her plot interprets the actions of a murder investigation as a sideways glance at intolerance, the abuse of power, and the irony of life, while still allowing the story to spill over with teeming suspense.