Anne Bonny #BookReview Stasi 77 By @djy_writer David Young 5* #Historical #Thriller #ww2Fiction #KarinMuller #Stasi #Series @ZaffreBooks

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Stasi 77 by David Young ~ Karin Muller #4
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

A secret State. A dark conspiracy. A terrible crime.

Karin Müller of the German Democratic Republic’s People’s Police is called to a factory in the east of the country. A man has been murdered – bound and trapped as a fire burned nearby, slowly suffocating him. But who is he? Why was he targeted? Could his murderer simply be someone with a grudge against the factory’s nationalisation, as Müller’s Stasi colleagues insist? Why too is her deputy Werner Tilsner behaving so strangely?

As more victims surface, it becomes clear that there is a cold-blooded killer out there taking their revenge. Soon Müller begins to realise that in order to solve these terrible crimes, she will need to delve into the region’s dark past. But are the Stasi really working with her on this case? Or against her?

For those who really run this Republic have secrets they would rather remain uncovered. And they will stop at nothing to keep them that way . . .

A gripping and evocative crime thriller, moving between the devastating closing weeks of the Second World War and the Stasi-controlled 1970s, STASI 77 is David Young’s most compelling and powerful novel yet

My Review ~

Stasi 77 Is #4 in the Karin Muller series. Each title offering up a unique historical theme. Stasi 77 is set between 1977 and 1943. The chapters alternate, which makes the reading feel so very intense. I found the 1943 scenes from the ww2 concentration camps particularly harrowing. But then they are historically accurate and superbly researched. The history of the ww2 concentration camps is supposed to be uncomfortable reading. If the author is doing their job correctly and bringing the horror of the camps alive on the page.

1977 – Schonefeld Airport – East Berlin
Major Karin Muller and Deputy Werner Tilsner from the serious crimes department arrive to find a victim dead from smoke inhalation. The victim is a leading local party official and is found in an abandoned old cotton mill (state owned). Who is the man? And why would somebody want to kill him?
As Karin investigates she uncovers the murder is not only deliberate but methodically planned. The victims fingernail marks leaving a sign of the sheer terror they knew before death brought salvation.

1943 – Oct – Scene from the camps
Three brothers Gregoire, Marcellin and (narrator) Philippe are transported from Buchenwald, in dire and bleak conditions…
‘I’m not a religious man. But if I was – and if I’d done some of the things that have been done to me and my compatriots and fellow prisoners – then I might imagine, one day entering hell. Today, I no longer need to imagine for I have arrived’ – Philippe
We come to learn the back story of the three brothers, who they are , why they are at the camps and the brutality of camp life they must endure.

Karin must navigate a secretive world. Where access to information depends on who you are and what position you hold. Karin comes to realise she doesn’t hold the relevant title or access to information on leading political figures and that continuing such leads, may put her own life in danger.

‘I never knew their names. But I will never, ever forget those faces’ – Philippe

When the ending finally approached and my time with Major Karin of the Kriminalpolizei was drawing to an end. I desperately wanted to read on…

‘My life is over, but I have memories to cherish, and they flicker like a well-worn newsreel’ – Philippe

5*

DY
David Young
Website
Twitter
My Review of A Darker State
An Extract of Stasi 77
My Review of Stasi Wolf and Q&A with David Young

Anne Bonny #BookReview The Island by Ragnar Jonasson 5* #CrimeFiction #Icelandic #Hulda #Triology

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The Island by Ragnar Jonasson
My Own Copy ~ Hardback

Synopsis ~

Four friends visit the island.

But only three return . . .

Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir is sent to the isolated island of Elliðaey to investigate and soon finds haunting similarities with a previous case – a young woman found murdered ten years ago in the equally desolate Westfjords.

Is there a patient killer stalking these barren outposts?

As Hulda navigates a sinister game constructed of smoke and mirrors she is convinced that no one is telling the truth, including those closest to her.

But who will crack first? And what secrets is the island hiding?

Haunting, suspenseful and as chilling as an Icelandic winter, The Island follows one woman’s journey to find the truth hidden in the darkest shadows, and shine a light on her own dark past.

My Review ~

The Island is the much anticipated follow-up to The Darkness Hulda Hermannsdottir #2. The trilogy is working backwards and with this title we are transported to the 1980’s and 1990’s with a case from Hulda’s past…

‘I’m so glad you’re home’
The novel opens in 1988 in Kopavogur. We are aware that it is a scene with a babysitter and the 7yr old child they are watching. But we are unaware of who they are and how they fit into the storyline. But as usual, all will slowly be revealed…
‘There were two of them’

The novel jumps to 1987 and we follow a young couple very much in love, that are travelling from Isafjordur to Mjoifjordur. They are telling old Icelandic ghost stories of witch burnings and black magic.
Across Iceland Hulda is being overlooked for promotion and is beginning to feel the burn of being a female in a male dominated career. Especially when the position in question is given to a colleague with less police experience than Hulda.
The team are made aware of a young woman in her 20’s missing from a holiday home in Mjoifjordur. Inspector Andres of the Isafjordur police attends due to the remote location of the area. He finds a deserted holiday home and the body of a dead female.
Was this an accident? A fall? or Murder?

‘Andres had an uncomfortable foreboding that a terrible crime had been committed here’

A potential murderer is quickly identified and the case appears to be solved. But did he do it? Or is the case being solved far too quickly and far too easily?

The novel now jumps to 1997, It is the 10th anniversary of the victim’s death. The anniversary is dragging up feelings of guilt and a desire for the truth to be told. But can the individual reach the police before the killer reaches them…
‘I think it’s time the truth came out’

‘Some crimes are so despicable that revenge is justified’

Hulda is currently alone, with no one in her life. But a search for a father that has never known she existed…
‘She felt so alone in the world, so lonely’

The novel kept me guessing right up to the last pages. I thought I had it all figured out! that was until the author’s big reveal. I absolutely CANNOT wait to read the next title in the trilogy… The Mist (2020 release).
Ragnar Jonasson is so very clever! 5* 

RJ
Ragnar Jonasson
Website
Twitter
My Review of The Darkness

Anne Bonny #BookReview Dead Man’s Daughter by @RozWatkins 4.5* @HQstories #CrimeFiction #MegDalton #Series #2 #Derbyshire #Thriller

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Dead Man’s Daughter by Roz Watkins ~ DI Meg Dalton #2
Review Copy

Synopsis ~

She was racing towards the gorge. The place the locals knew as ‘Dead Girl’s Drop’…

DI Meg Dalton is thrown headlong into her latest case when she finds a ten-year-old girl running barefoot through the woods in a blood-soaked nightdress. In the house nearby, the girl’s father has been brutally stabbed to death.

At first Meg suspects a robbery gone tragically wrong, but something doesn’t add up. Why does the girl have no memory of what happened to her? And why has her behaviour changed so dramatically since her recent heart transplant?

The case takes a chilling turn when evidence points to the girl’s involvement in her own father’s murder. As unsettling family secrets emerge, Meg is forced to question her deepest beliefs to discover the shocking truth, before the killer strikes again…

My Review ~

‘Please stop. I can feel. I’m still here’

Di Meg Dalton is summoned to Bellhurst House via a phone call from concerned citizen Elaine Grant. What Meg discovers is a distressed and disorientated little girl (Abbie) of 8/9yrs of age. The girl has what appears to be track marks on her arms, yet otherwise unharmed. She claims to be running from her father…

‘Everyone always dies’ – Abbie

When Meg arrives at the family home, she finds the father of Abbie dead with his throat slit. The mother Rachel is aggressive towards Meg, she claims to be the victim of a stalker. With Abbie’s sister Jess having died years ago due to suicide. Meg must ask the uncomfortable questions and seek the truth of just what has been happening at Bellhurst House?

The family background is revealed and as Meg digs deeper and deeper. We learn that this is far from a happy home. But who is the victim and who is the attacker…

‘Child suspects were treated as victims’

There are diverse characters wrapped up in a complex mystery. There are multiple themes that have been extensively researched and HUGE respect to the author for that. Meg Dalton’s character generates more personality in this title. Maybe this is due to the nature of some of the themes. Or just that she is developing well into cracking protagonist. Either way, this is a great second title in the series. 4.5*

RW
Roz Watkins
Website
Twitter
An Extract of Dead Man’s Daughter
My Review of The Devil’s Dice and Q&A with Roz watkins