Blackout By Simon Scarrow

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Blackout: A Gripping WW2 Thriller By Simon Scarrow

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Book/Novel Author: Simon Scarrow

Book/Novel Title: Blackout

 

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During Berlin’s brutally cold winter of 1939, a serial killer stalks the city throughout the Third Reich’s forced nightly blackouts in this chilling WWII crime novel from #1 Sunday Times bestselling author Simon Scarrow—perfect for fans of Babylon Berlin, Philip Kerr’s Berlin Trilogy, Robert Ludlum, Andrew Gross, and William Christie . . .Berlin 1939. The city is blanketed by snow and ice. In the distance, the rumble of war grows louder. In the shadows, a serial killer rises . . . As the Nazis tighten their chokehold on the capital, panic and paranoia fester as blackout is rigidly enforced. Every night the city is plunged into an oppressive, suffocating darkness—pitch perfect conditions for unspeakable acts.   When a young woman is found brutally murdered, it’s up to Criminal Inspector Horst Schenke to solve the case quickly. His reputation is already on the line for his failure to join the Nazi Party. If he doesn’t solve the case, the consequences could be fatal.    Schenke’s worst fears are confirmed when a second victim is found. As the investigation takes him deeper into the regime’s darkest corridors, Schenke realizes danger lurks behind every corner—and that the warring factions of the Reich can be as deadly as a killer stalking the streets . . .
Author Simon Scarrow has written a taut and enjoyable mystery, set in Berlin during the ice-cold winter of 1939-40. Scarrow, who is much better known for his Eagles of the Empire series, which takes place during the first-century AD, moves to “recent past history” with no apparent effort or problems. And he also transitions smoothly to the mystery genre – although some of the early books in his Eagles series already read a bit like mysteries themselves.The case itself is intriguing. A former movie star has a public spat with her lover at a rather exclusive party, and then heads home in the cold and dark by herself. Someone enters her train carriage, she is startled to recognize them, and readers are then left to imagine what might have happened before her body is found the next day. Was that person her murderer? And is she the only victim, or is there a serial killer loose in Berlin?It quickly becomes the job of Kripo Inspector Horst Schenke to investigate. This, of course, would be challenging enough in normal times, but in on-edge Berlin, just as World War II is getting underway, it becomes well-nigh impossible. There are political implications to everything, and even if he does figure out who killed Gerda Korzeny, it’s not clear anything will be done about it. Still, throughout the book, as Schenke pursues clues, readers will end up pulling for him both personally and professionally. And in a manner that is a bit reminiscent of some of Donna Leon’s Brunetti cases, as the book closes, Schenke knows the solution, but there’s not much satisfaction in the knowledge.All-in-all, Blackout is a gem of a book, and I hope it becomes a series-starter – although I am a bit conflicted, since I don’t want Scarrow to neglect his Eagles series either. It gets five stars from me. And finally, my thanks to Kensington Books for my review copy.

I really liked this book. I liked the main character right away, so at first the author kept me reading because I wanted to know where he was going with the character. Then the story got me hooked and by then I could not quit reading. I read it in two days, I could just not quit reading.Highly recommended.
3.5My first book by the author and it was a good read. I’m not a big reader of WWII fiction these days but I wanted to give him a try. It was clear this story was setting up for a series, which is not an issue, and it did have some thrilling, page-turning moments. I think if I read more from the author, I will try some of his non-WWII fiction works as he let us in on some of his political views in the author’s note and I prefer not to have that in my reading choices unless I specifically go in knowing they will be shown to us, knocked off 1/2 a star. If you like thrilling reads and those set in WWII, I would recommend giving this one a try.
Somehow, I don’t think “The Richard and Judy Book Club pick” is actually part of the title of this book. If I were the author, I’d be downright pissed about whoever put it in there.This book has good reviews from people whose opinion I respect. I’ll form my own opinion shortly!

 

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