The Pale House

Written by Luke McCallin
Review by Justin Lindsay

Gregor Reinhardt is a decorated war hero, a veteran of both the First World War and the current one, in which he serves as an intelligence officer. In civilian life between the wars he was a police investigator. All told, he makes the ideal candidate for the new and powerful military police, the Feldjaegerkorps. Little do his new superiors know that in recruiting him, they have a man who has spent the last several years as part as a resistance cell against Hitler’s Nazi regime.

His first assignment takes him not only away from friends and allies when he could use them most, but back to Yugoslavia, where dark memories and a brutal reality await him. When Reinhardt comes across a massacre of civilians by the dreaded Ustaše, he knows at once that far more is behind this atrocity. As more bodies crop up, each with its own set of disturbing clues, Reinhardt finds himself sucked into an investigation that threatens to expose not only the complicity of the Ustaše, but a conspiracy that reaches back to Berlin. With many lives at stake, including his own, and the German army in full retreat, he must decide how far he is willing to go to see justice done and truth served.

The Pale House is the second installment, after The Man from Berlin, of what is proving to be a very engaging thriller series. Reinhardt is both tough and thoughtful, and it’s impossible not to get drawn into his emotional depths and root for him. The cast is full of sympathetic characters, the worst of villains, innocents, and everyone in between. The setting is engaging, the characters complicated, and the plot inspired. Recommended.