Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review: Shadow and Light

Shadow and Light
Shadow and Light by Jonathan Rabb

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Please note: I read this book in January, 2009 from a copy of the book I received from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review. This is that review, written in January 2009.

About the book: Set in 1927 Berlin, this is Germany as few have witnessed it. Decadent in an almost desperate way, grasping at whatever it can hold on to, and still reeling from being made scapegoat of WWI, its citizens distract themselves however they can.

My Synopsis: Out at the Ufa film studios, something is happening that is being held secret, and it is up to Nikolai Hoffner, Kriminal-Oberkommissar for Berlin's Kriminalpolezei, to discover what it is and why it has led to the death of an executive named Gerhard Thyssen, and what it has to do with sexually-themed movies, sound on film, the rise of the SA, the arrival of an American talent agent for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and his two sons. Georg has dropped out of school to work for Ufa and Sacha ... well, Sacha is angry and we all know what angry Germans tended to do during that time frame.

More about the Story: Hoffner involves Fritz Lang, Alby Pimm (leader of the most powerful crime syndicate in Berlin) and the American woman - Helen (Leni) Coyle as he tries to get to the bottom of the many threads woven into the tangled web of intrigues in this book. By the end the reader almost needs a notebook of his or her own to keep up, but it is a lot of fun to get there. While Hoffner is a morose man - for quite understandable reasons - he also tends to have some very witty dialogue, and the same goes for Lang and Pimm. The author - Jonathan Rabb - has a dark sense of humor that keeps the book from drowning the reader in the darkness engulfing many of the characters and many was the time where I laughed out loud while reading it. I am definitely going to be finding more of his stuff - and if I had known that Rosa was the book before this, I probably would have run out and bought it and read it first - but I'll get it soon, believe me! My husband took a look at the back of the book and said "Oh - the first book is about Rosa Luxembourg?" so I'm very excited to see how Rabb takes this historical event and turns it into a novel.

My Final Thoughts: I can definitely give this a thumb's up for crime noir, historical fiction, or mystery lovers. There is a lot more to this book, but it is a little hard to define. Give it a chance - I don't think you will regret it - it is a great book.

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