5,0 von 5 SternenIf you like some history thrown into your novels then you should enjoy the Cold War aspects with spies, agents, and double agent
24. Februar 2017 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
This is the first German crime novel I’ve read and it made me feel like I was watching one of those old espionage films. It’s definitely for fans of spy driven novels – think German version of Jack Reacher without as much action or a cute spy you could picture your favorite action star stepping into the role.
The plot line is a clever thriller full of twists you don’t see coming as Elisabeth Hermann did a good job with the mystery and backstory as her research skills showed through quite well. She has a good writing style that flows and keeps you intrigued along with, at times, a bit scared for your safety as it seriously makes you consider how far governments will stretch their reach and resources in the name of justice. A bit of the ends justifies the means kind of thing.
She has a detailed sense in her writing of characters and scenes that are illustrated to just this side of overkill in some areas but stops short of being long-winded. She really pulls you into all of her characters whether they are minor or a major part of moving the story along. She did a good job on characterization as the emotions, motivations and actions of the main character, Judith, seemed credible and reality based but she was also able to do that for the rest as well which was surprising for a spy novel.
This novel begins in the Yuri Gagarin Children’s Home in East Germany. It is 1985 and one of the staff, illicitly listening to Radio Luxenbourg, finds a young girl wandering the corridors. Her name is Christel Sonnenberg and so Martha takes her back to bed; only to be told by her superiors that she is mistaken and the girl is called Judith Kepler. Afraid of getting into trouble, Martha agrees to the deception, because, in Cold War East Germany, it is sensible, and safer, not to question what you are told…
Years later, we meet Judith Kepler again. She is a Cleaner, working for the Dombrowski Facility Management. Kepler is employed in the “administration of death;” making houses, or apartments, inhabitable again after someone has died there. Often these are just elderly people who have been forgotten about. Sometimes, it is after a crime scene. Judith Kepler has always believed she was sent to a children’s home after being neglected by an alcoholic mother. However, after going to clean at the apartment of a murdered woman, she comes into the possession of a file about her own case. Before long, Kepler is plunged into an investigation which involves the CIA, the German Intelligence agencies and other agents. Many believe she is in possession of a missing microfilm, containing details of East German spies now working in the West and there are those who want her dead, or to frame her for a crime she didn’t commit
This is a fast paced atmospheric thriller, with lots of plot twists and turns and a great cast of characters. From the Stasi in East Germany, through to the modern times, we follow Judith’s quest to discover who she really is and what happened in her past. The author, Elisabeth Herrmann has written crime novels before, but this is a her first thriller and, I believe, her first novel translated into English. Hopefully, there will be more, as this is an exciting, intelligent thriller and I would like to read more by her. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.
The Cleaner is a Cold War thriller set in Germany. It opens with a scene from a children's home in 1985, in East Germany, a new child is brought in, an old one disappears, and it's safer not to ask any questions.
The story then jumps forward, the Berlin Wall has come down. Judith Kepler is a grown women, a loner, she has struggled for years. Now she has some stability in her life. She works as a cleaner, one who cleans a place after a death has occurred. Sent to the home of a murder victim, Judith has a huge job on her hands, but more shocking is the discovery of a letter with her own name and details of her time at the children's home.
Quirin Kaiserley is an intelligence expert, he's always hunting answers over a secret agent plot which went wrong back in 1985. Recently approached by a women claiming to hold the lost evidence from the failed plot, he is ready to expose all on a popular TV talk show. However the women fails to turn up at the studios.
Judith takes her questions about the past to Kaiserley, but they are waking some dangerous players who thought the past was dead and buried.
This is a chilling story with lots of twists and turns, people with several aliases and demons from the past to dig up. The Cold War, spies, agents and double agents, mixed with the German and Swedish backdrop make it an enjoyable read.