Stasi Winter

David Young. Zaffre (IPG, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-78576-546-9
Set in 1978, Young’s strong fifth mystery featuring detective Karen Müller (after 2019’s Stasi 77) finds Müller applying for a teaching job, having resigned as the head of the Serious Crimes Department of the People’s Police in East Berlin more than a year earlier. Her former boss, however, informs her he never accepted her resignation, and if she wants the pay that has been accruing and to remain in an apartment big enough for her family, she must return to duty. Müller accedes to the extortionate demand, and is sent to the island of Rügen to look into the case of an unidentified woman who died from exposure during a snowstorm. She soon learns that the dead woman, whom she recognizes from a previous case, was administered a paralytic agent before being left outdoors to freeze to death while still conscious. As usual, Young excels at conveying the feel of living in a surveillance state, where anyone is capable of betrayal, and effectively combines thriller and whodunit plotlines. Despite the revelation of the killer’s identity at an unexpected juncture, readers will keep turning pages. Fans of good cops serving bad regimes will be pleased. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 10/26/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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