Set in early post-WWI Berlin, this detective story starts like so many others: with a corpse. And like many others, this one involves a madman butchering women and evading the police. Then a woman who has cultivated a few too many political enemies turns up as yet another apparent victim of the madman. But was she really? Nikolai Hoffner, Detective Inspector with the city’s Kriminalpolizei, doesn’t think so. And despite intense pressure from his superiors to steer away from the political aspects of the case, he persists. And his persistence costs him dearly.
I found Part One of this story a bit formulaic and even familiar. But just as I thought I had it all figured out, Part Two turned the story on its head and brought life to the tale. From that point on, I was hooked and there was no putting the book down. Suddenly there were hitherto unseen sides to the characters and an even deeper and more disturbing overtone to the plot. The rise of a darker evil was almost palpable. The scene which ties all the loose ends together could have used a bit more suspense, but the ride to that point was well worth the fare.