cover image From a Dark Horizon

From a Dark Horizon

Luke McCallin. Berkley, $28 (528p) ISBN 978-0-425-28292-2

A high-stakes whodunit drives McCallin’s excellent fourth mystery featuring German military intelligence officer Gregor Reinhardt (after 2016’s The Divided City), a prequel set in 1918 France. One morning on the Western Front, Reinhardt, then a lieutenant in the German army, learns that one of the men under his command is accused of an atrocity. Private Willy Sattler is believed to have killed three German officers by blowing up a house where the officers were holding a secret meeting. Sattler apparently died by suicide shortly after the bombing, having been found “with a gunshot wound to his head and a pistol in his hand.” There’s plenty of reason to suspect Sattler, an explosives expert who planted a bomb with a delayed-action fuse in a Russian bunker the year before. Furthermore, Sattler had been demoted from the rank of sergeant after being charged with a variety of offenses, including assaulting a superior (Reinhardt himself), reckless endangerment of his own troops, and consorting with the enemy. Despite the mass of incriminating evidence, Reinhardt believes something more complicated is going on and investigates at great personal risk. McCallin makes the challenges of detection on the battlefield palpable. The setting, characterizations, and plotting will appeal to Charles Todd fans. Agent: Peter Rubie, FinePrint Literary. (Dec.)