cover image The Man from Berlin

The Man from Berlin

Luke McCallin. Berkley, $15 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-0-425-26305-1

Set in 1943 Sarajevo, McCallin’s well-wrought debut, the first in a new series, highlights the complexities of trying to be an honest cop under a vicious, corrupt regime. The murders of Lt. Stefan Hendel, a German military intelligence officer, and Marija Vukic, a Croatian journalist, pose a considerable challenge for Capt. Gregor Reinhardt, an Abwehr counterintelligence officer partnered with a member of the Sarajevo police force. The killer or killers shot the lieutenant before savagely stabbing Vukic to death. Since the truth behind the murders could prove embarrassing to the Nazis, Reinhardt is under considerable pressure to find a scapegoat and close the case. Inevitably, he clashes with dangerous people, including a former colleague from his days in the Berlin Kripo. The ending sets up the sequel nicely, and if McCallin isn’t at the level of a Philip Kerr, his work will provide intelligent diversion for WWII crime fans. Agent: Peter Rubie, FinePrint Literary Management. (July)