Berlin by Pierre Frei
A Novel

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Synopsis

Set in a devastated Berlin one month after the close of the Second World War, Berlin has been highly acclaimed. Ben, a German boy retrieving cigarette butts to repackage and sell on the black market, discovers the body of a beautiful young woman in a subway station. Blonde and blue-eyed, she has been sexually assaulted and strangled with a chain. In the scramble to identify the body, the victim is mistaken for an American and a local investigation becomes a matter for the U.S. Military Police. Captain John Ashburner and Inspector Klaus Dietrich realize quickly that to solve this apparently motiveless murder they will have to work together. When the bodies of other young women are discovered it becomes clear that this is no isolated act of violence. Pierre Frei has searched the wreckage of Berlin and emerged with an electrifying thriller in the tradition of Joseph Kanon and Alan Furst, in which the voices and stories of the victims themselves provide an intimate portrait of Germany before, during, and after the war.
 

About Pierre Frei

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Pierre Frei grew up in Berlin. He has worked as a foreign correspondent in Rome, Cairo, New York, and London. Anthea Bell was born in Suffolk, was educated at Somerville College, Oxford, and has worked as a translator for a number of years, primarily from German and French. Her translations include works of non-fiction, literary and popular fiction, and books for young people including classic German works by the Brothers Grimm, Clemens Brentano, Wilhelm Hauff and Christian Morgenstern. Bell has also served on the committee of the Translators` Association and the jury panel of the Schlegel-Tieck German translation prize in Great Britain. She has been the recipient of a number of translation prizes and awards, among them the 1987 Schlegel-Tieck Award for Hans Berman's The Stone and the Flute (Viking) and the first Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation for Christine Nöstlinger's A Dog's Life (Andersen Press). Bell was selected by a five-member jury as the recipient of the 2002 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translatorżs Prize for her exceptional translation of W.G. Sebald's novel Austerlitz, published Random House. He also won the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize in 2009 for How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone.
 
Published October 10, 2006 by Grove Press. 432 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, War. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Berlin

Kirkus Reviews

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A sprawling thriller set amid the hard times and horrors of pre– and post–World War II Germany.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Berlin: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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A serial killer stalks the war-torn streets of post-WWII Berlin, preying on beautiful, blonde women, in Frei's disappointing debut thriller—a bestseller in Germany. Each of the victims is

Sep 04 2006 | Read Full Review of Berlin: A Novel

The Guardian

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Authenticity works up to a point, but in the end Berlin lacks the imaginative surprise and dark luminosity of Black List Section H, Francis Stuart's haunting autobiographical novel of civilian life in wartime Berlin, or Richard Hughes's novels on the rise of German fascism, The Fox in the Attic a...

Oct 29 2005 | Read Full Review of Berlin: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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A serial killer stalks the war-torn streets of post-WWII Berlin, preying on beautiful, blonde women, in Frei's disappointing debut thriller—a bestseller in Germany.

| Read Full Review of Berlin: A Novel

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