Monday, October 6, 2014

The Summer of Long Knives

Oh don't worry lambs, this isn't a confessional where I tell you've I've stabbed people this summer. It's just a book review. *crisis averted*

The Summer of Long Knives - Jim Snowden
The Summer of Long Knives
In the summer of 1936, the racial and political climate in Munich are growing tense, and Kommisar Rolf Wundt and his wife Klara are increasingly desperate to leave Nazi Germany while they still can. But when a member of the League of German Girls is found brutally murdered and posed in the yard of a dilapidated farmhouse, Rolf's supervisor declares that they can't leave until he's solved the case. Rolf's investigation leads him from the depths of the underground Communist movement to the heights of Germany's elite Nazi society, exposing the cracks in Germany's so-called unified society as well as the unspoken tensions in Rolf's complicated marriage. Ultimately, long-buried secrets and overwhelming evidence are laid bare, but how can Rolf bring the killer to justice in a country devoid of justice? And how can he protect himself, his wife, and his former lover from the barbarism of a corrupt and power-hungry government?

Definitely not a book I would have picked up at the book store because it's just not a genre I can really get into. Surprisingly though, I had a hard time putting this book down because you start off immediately with the murder of a young girl and the story ramps from there. What little I know of this era comes from The Diary of Anne Frank and a few documentaries I watched in school, so I did have a hard time really understanding the actions of some of the book characters. So when it comes to how accurate the description of the time and other things in the book, honestly I can't tell you how close it was. What I can tell you is that it is fascinating and I thought a lot of the crime scenes and crime elements were quite good for what feels like a political thriller to me. 

Can we talk about how I did NOT see it coming with Klara towards the end? We learn that earlier, Rolf had an affair and it was fairly devastating to his marriage. Obviously it would be. But Klara was really angry and I mean, while I could understand why she'd be angry, something felt off. Until we found out why and holy cripes- did not see that coming. Not at all. So that was a fun twist in the story as well. Because while trying to solve the murder, Rolf is dealing with his wife, the infidelity, trying to leave the country but basically being blackmailed to not leave, and the growing tensions in the country and making sure he doesn't get on the wrong side of anyone at any time. It's stressful. 

If you are a fan of political thrillers, and/or a fan of Nazi Germany era stories, this is definitely something you need to add to your list. 


Jimbo said...

Thanks for your review. I'd wondered when someone was going to bring up the twist at the end. Caught you, did it?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!