A Darker State

David Young. Zaffre (IPG, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-1-78576-070-9
At the start of Young’s exceptional third novel set in mid-1970s East Germany (after Stasi Wolf), Colonel Reininger of the People’s Police offers detective Karin Müller, who has recently returned from maternity leave, a deal. In return for her agreeing to lead a sensitive homicide investigation, Reininger will give Müller a big promotion and ensure she gets a larger apartment in East Berlin. Müller accepts, despite her worries about leaving her infant twins at home and having to work with Colonel Jäger, “a man to fear” who works in the Ministry of State Security, or Stasi. The politically related case involves the murder of a teenage boy found in an East Berlin lake. The stakes rise when the son of Karin’s forensic investigator goes missing. Meanwhile, fights with her children’s father explode Karin’s personal world as she, an uneasy believer in socialism, struggles to save victims of brutality, preserve her self-respect, and discern honest friends from Stasi foes. Spy fiction fans will savor Young’s meticulous look at East Germany’s heart of darkness. Agent: Adam Gauntlett, Peters, Fraser & Dunlop (U.K.). (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 05/24/2019
Release date: 08/01/2019
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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