Set in East Berlin in 1975, this is the story of Karin Mueller, a police investigator, who believes in the regime in East Germany and the propaganda it peddles about the West. When the body of a young girl is found dead at the foot of the Berlin Wall looking as if she was fleeing from the West to the East, Karin is asked to investigate alongside the Stasi (East German secret police). The investigation is complicated and throws up more questions than it answers with lies and deceit appearing everywhere – not just in the investigation, but among the investigative team and even between Karin and her husband.
Truth is in short supply in this story and no one can be truly relied on to tell be honest or to do the right thing. The tale is harrowing with many of the characters carrying emotional scars caused by people in power in the system. Individuals are used and abused and often find themselves in Kafkaesque situations. When the story comes to an end and the reader feels that, finally, the truth has been uncovered and no more deceit is possible, the author springs further surprises. Exciting and exhausting, this book keeps the reader on their toes.
Not a book for younger teens – I’d put it at 16+. Although one of the main protoganists is a teenager, the other is an adult and many of the events in the book are emotionally tough to read about,