Mysterious Book Report No. 429

by John Dwaine McKenna

In author Harald Gilbers searing new novel of Nazi Berlin entitled, Germania, (Thomas Dunn Books, $28.99, 352 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-24693-6), The German public is beginning to question Nazi propaganda about the war effort, the so-called “Final Solution” is in full swing, and a diabolical serial killer is on the loose, slaughtering courtesan women, then ritualistically posing their bodies in front of World War I memorials.  That’s when a man named Richard Oppenheimer—a Jew, and one of Berlin’s best detectives before being fired and prevented from working for the police because of his religion—is summoned by an SS officer named Vogler, to a crime scene where the most recent  victim has been left.

The arrangement puts both men at risk, but Oppenheimer has the most to lose.  His life is in Vogler’s hands.  He could be shipped off to a concentration camp and certain death at any moment for the slightest of infractions, at the whim of Hauptsturmführer Vogler, or one of his superior officers.  It’s an almost impossible dilemma.  Solve the case and he’s no longer needed.  Fail to find the monster and Oppenheimer becomes the scapegoat, as well as the perfect fall guy to take the blame in this tense, atmospheric and exquisitely well-researched historical novel.

If you crave an intelligent, compelling and exciting murder mystery with accurate period details, Germania is just what you’ve been looking for.  The Allies have landed at Normandy in the west and the Russians are advancing from the east, Berlin is trapped between the two.  The bombs keep falling, even as more bodies continue to be discovered, and the tension ratchets up on every page of this thrilling and unforgettable novel set against the background of World War II. Don’t miss it!


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