Written by Simon Scarrow
Review by Mike Ashworth

Berlin, December 1939. The Second World War is in its very early stage. The Nazis are tightening their ruthless grip on the German people. The city is paranoid, fuelled by a strict blackout which every night throws the city into a maelstrom of dark deeds and lawlessness as the population shivers in an icy winter and a fuel shortage. When a young woman is found brutally murdered, Criminal Inspector Horst Schenke is ordered to drop his current investigations and find the murderer. Quickly and discreetly. As he stubbornly refuses to join the Nazi Party, he is regarded with suspicion by his superiors – disloyalty is deadly, and failure not an option. Inspector Schenke finds himself enmeshed in a web of deceit, double-dealing and deadly internal politics, while the murderer strikes again.

With a taut plot and strong characterization which evokes the quite literally dark times of the war, the story races along, piling on the tension. This is a combination of detective story and political thriller. Simon Scarrow is a best-selling author at the top of his game, a maestro of historical fiction, and once again he has produced another taut, exciting story. This is one to keep. Highly recommended.