Berlin Gothic

Jonas Winner, trans. from the German by Edwin Miles. Amazon Crossing, $14.95 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-612184-27-2
Originally published as an e-book in Germany, this first in a seven-part thriller series opens with a compelling setup, but the plot becomes less innovative as it goes along. In the prologue, a man named Till awakes to find himself lying on a mattress in a room full of people who have been mutilated, including a woman whose tongue has been split. He soon learns that he himself has also been somehow “modified.” Meanwhile, a Berlin police inspector arrives at a crime scene where an electric drill lies near a woman with an ugly stomach wound. The book proper starts with a journal entry lamenting that Till’s flight from an orphanage triggered “the night that’s devouring us,” then flashes back 12 years to Till’s backstory. The action, which alternates between past and present, builds to a cliffhanger ending, but readers expecting resolution will be frustrated, and the florid prose doesn’t help. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/28/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
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