The Sleepwalkers by Paul Grossman

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Synopsis

     Berlin, 1932.  In the final weeks of the Weimar Republic, as Hitler and his National Socialist party angle to assume control of Germany, beautiful girls are seen sleepwalking through the streets.  Then, a young woman of mysterious origin, with her legs bizarrely deformed, is pulled dead from the Havel River.  Willi Kraus, a high ranking detective in Berlin's police force, begins a murder investigation.
       
                A decorated World War I hero and the nation's most famous detective, Willi also is a Jew.   Despite his elite status in the criminal police, he is disturbed by the direction Germany is taking.  Working urgently to identify the dead woman and solve the murder, Willi finds his superiors diverting him at every turn, and is forced to waste precious time on a politically-sensitive missing person case.  Colleagues seem to avoid him; a man on a streetcar stops him from reading a newspaper over his shoulder; he is uncomfortably aware of being watched.  But he persists, and soon enters the dangerous Berlin underworld of debauched nightclubs, prostitutes with secrets to hide, and a hypnotist with troubling connections.
               
                As he moves through darkness closer to the truth, Willi begins to understand that much more than the solution to a murder is at stake. What he discovers will mean that his life, the lives of his friends and family, and Germany itself will never be the same


                The Sleepwalkers is a powerful, dramatic debut thriller of a nation's unstoppable corruption, featuring a good man trapped between his duty to serve and his grave doubts about what, and who, he serves.  


 

About Paul Grossman

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Paul Grossman is a long time teacher of writing and literature at Hunter College.
 
Published October 12, 2010 by St. Martin's Press. 318 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Sleepwalkers

Kirkus Reviews

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In Grossman's debut novel, a Jewish cop in 1932 Berlin hunts the perpetrators of a grotesque crime, against a backdrop of political turmoil.

Sep 17 2010 | Read Full Review of The Sleepwalkers

NPR

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NPR coverage of The Sleepwalkers by Paul Grossman. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.

Dec 15 2010 | Read Full Review of The Sleepwalkers

Gather Books

She’s dubbed “the mermaid.” Before he has a chance to get anywhere with this case, Willi is given another, higher profile assignment—to find the missing princess of Bulgaria, who had been visiting Berlin with her husband.

Oct 11 2011 | Read Full Review of The Sleepwalkers

Historical Novel Society

We are reminded in a concluding note that medical experimentation on human guinea pigs did not become a Nazi sin until after the period covered in this book, and I could not get over my sure prior knowledge of this fact.

| Read Full Review of The Sleepwalkers

Bookmarks Magazine

Willi Kraus, a high ranking detective in Berlin's police force, begins a murder investigation.

A decorated World War I hero and the nation's most famous detective, Willi also is a Jew.

Oct 25 2010 | Read Full Review of The Sleepwalkers

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