Where Dead Men Meet

Written by Mark Mills
Review by M.K. Tod

Where Dead Men Meet is a taut thriller set in 1937 Europe. From the opening scene, even the opening line, we know we’re in the hands of a master storyteller. Luke Hamilton has a mysterious past, and someone is attempting to kill him for it. Although he knows he was orphaned before his parents adopted him, Luke has no idea what that past entails. A stranger appears to help him, but Luke fears the man intends to harm him. He meets a woman who might facilitate his escape; however, it is just as likely that she might intend to betray him. Nothing is what it seems, and Luke has no idea who to depend on.

The story unfolds through multiple threads, each thread adding to the tension such that the reader experiences the same sort of chaos and confusion that Luke Hamilton does. We are never quite certain who the ‘good guys’ are or whether Luke will make it out alive.

Moving from Paris to Germany, then Switzerland and Italy, Mills exposes us to the increasingly dangerous world of Nazi Germany. Jews attempt to flee. Committed individuals attempt to help them. Betrayals occur when least expected. Long-ago hatreds resurface. Innocent people die. My only caveat: the novel could benefit from a more immersive sense of the historical time period. Highly recommended.