The Second Son by Jonathan Rabb
A Novel

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Synopsis

An Intriguing Historical Thriller Set in the Barcelona of the Spanish Civil War On the eve of Hitler’s Olympics, Chief Inspector Nikolai Hoffner, a half Jew, has been forced out of the Kriminalpolizei. Luckily, Hoffner’s focus is elsewhere. His son Georg is missing in Spain, swept up in the sudden outbreak of the civil war. He has already lost Sascha, his elder son, who is fully entrenched in the Nazi regime. But Georg is not what he appears to be, and when Hoffner discovers this, he is determined to save the one son he can. The Second Son is the eagerly awaited final installment in Jonathan Rabb’s Berlin trilogy, set between the two world wars. In Harper’s Magazine, John Leonard called the first, Rosa, “a ghostly noir that could have been conspired at by Raymond Chandler and André Malraux.” The second, Shadow and Light (2009), garnered rave reviews—in The Washington Post, Wendy Smith praised its “atmosphere” and “brilliantly plotted narrative.” Now, nearly ten years after the events of Shadow and Light, Hoffner finds himself tossed into the chaos that is Spain— where he quickly meets anarchists, Soviet and British secret agents, and a female doctor called Mila Pera—as he follows a trail of clues left by Georg. In the spirit of Joseph Kanon and Alan Furst—whose Foreign Correspondent also took place in the mountains of Spain—Rabb delivers another atmospheric work, rich with his storytelling talent and historical expertise.
 

About Jonathan Rabb

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Jonathan Rabb is the author of five novels: The Second Son, Shadow and Light, Rosa, The Overseer, and The Book of Q. He lives in Savannah, Georgia, with his wife and twin children.
 
Published February 15, 2011 by Sarah Crichton Books. 308 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Second Son

Kirkus Reviews

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Then Hoffner learns his son is a secret agent for the Brits, sent to Spain to expose the Nazis’ supply routes (they’re smuggling guns for Franco).

Feb 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Second Son: A Novel

The New York Times

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But the policeman turns out to be an uncommonly good detective, since, as Greene argued, “you cannot love without intuition.” In “The Second Son,” Chief Inspector Nikolai Hoffner is also skilled at reading people (he recognizes a British spy in minutes), and he too has a great capacity for love.

Feb 11 2011 | Read Full Review of The Second Son: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Meanwhile, Hoffner's filmmaker second son, Georg, has left his wife and son in Berlin to travel to Barcelona, where the People's Olympics, games intended to protest the spectacle of Hitler's Olympics, are scheduled to take place.

Dec 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Second Son: A Novel

Los Angeles Times

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In Jonathan Rabb's "The Second Son," a Berlin police detective, Nikolai Hoffner, is cashiered from his post — circa 1936 — by the Nazis because he is half-Jewish.

Mar 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Second Son: A Novel

Dallas News

… Driving through the heat, Hoffner gazed into the bleached red of the sky, the color of blood mixed with water, although here it was clouds sifting through a dying sun …” I don’t want to give away the news about the success or failure of Hoffner’s search for his younger son, but in the end, Insp...

Feb 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The Second Son: A Novel

Washington Independent Review of Books

Thus begins the climactic section of Jonathan Rabb’s The Second Son, as Kriminal-Oberkommisar Nicolai Hoffner completes his odyssey through a Spain torn by civil war and learns the fate of both his sons.

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Bookmarks Magazine

In Harper’s Magazine, John Leonard called the first, Rosa, “a ghostly noir that could have been conspired at by Raymond Chandler and André Malraux.” The second, Shadow and Light (2009), garnered rave reviews—in The Washington Post, Wendy Smith praised its “atmosphere” ...

Feb 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Second Son: A Novel

News Review.

Misterioso is the first novel in Arne Dahl’s Swedish Intercrime series, which follows an elite task force set up by the National Criminal Police.

Feb 20 2012 | Read Full Review of The Second Son: A Novel

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