Thursday, February 15, 2007
The Good German
I read this page-turner a while back and enjoyed it quite a bit. I'm glad to see it's been turned into a movie, although I'm not sure I'll make it to the theater to see it. The setting is post-World War II Germany, Berlin specifically. I am somewhat familiar with that territory, having had the privilege to be in Berlin at the 50th anniversary of the end of the war. The book does not center around German struggles, despite the title, so not to worry for those Deutsch-o-phobes out there. It's basically a detective story with a few twists and turns set in the bombed-out center of a ruined totalitarian state. It had me guessing as far as the mystery goes, but I've never been good at figuring out mysteries. The novel does follow a fairly tried-and-true formula, but it's a well-crafted genre book with an interesting cast of characters. I found myself rooting for the good guys and against the bad guys, and I ask nothing more of a good detective story. There is a sex scene in the novel -- nothing Hollywood would find at all racy, but some more conservative readers might. This book is a follow-up to the more successful Los Alamos. Both novels are recommended. The author is Joseph Kanon.