Saturday, July 18, 2009
A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell
A wonderful new thriller by a debut author who has a background in both literature and Germany history. Well-written and filled with real characters of the time, Cantrell’s book is set in 1930s Berlin at the beginning of the rise of Hitler’s power. Her main character, Hannah Vogel, is a reporter who writes for a Berlin newspaper under a male alias. At the beginning of the story, Hannah finds out her brother has been murdered, but no one else seems to know this…everyone else (expect for the murderer, of course) just assumes he’s missing. Her brother is a nightclub performer in one of Berlin’s more famous gay clubs…this is 1930s Berlin after-all…rich with a very flamboyant side. Hannah takes it upon herself to do the digging into his “disappearance” and soon finds herself in danger…especially since her brother had personal ties to the Nazi Party. An excellent thriller that remains strong to the very end. Hopefully, Cantrell will keep writing…maybe even making Hannah Vogel a continuing character.