The Sleepwalkers

Paul Grossman, St. Martin's, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-60190-4
Set in Germany in the fall of 1932, Grossman's less than stunning debut features Berlin police detective Willi Krauss, who's become a minor celebrity, despite being Jewish, after cracking the notorious Child Eater case. As the Nazis plot to gain control of the country, Krauss looks into the death of a beautiful young woman found floating in the River Spree with her head shaved and her fibulas surgically removed from one leg and replanted in the other. Meanwhile, the Weimar republic's president, Gen. Paul von Hindenberg, orders the policeman to work on another case, the disappearance of a Bulgarian princess. Though the author does a decent job of conveying the atmosphere of fear as Hitler manipulates his way to power, clich├ęd plot elements, such as a hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold love interest for his hero, undercut his efforts at realism. Given the inherent lack of suspense (Krauss's detecting won't prevent the Nazis from succeeding), Grossman doesn't adequately compensate with complex characterizations. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/19/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-61573-105-3
Hardcover - 471 pages - 978-1-4104-3296-4
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-61573-106-0
Paperback - 326 pages - 978-0-312-60279-6
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4299-4946-0
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