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A Darker State: The gripping cold war…
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A Darker State: The gripping cold war thriller perfect for fans of Robert… (edição: 2018)

de David Young (Autor)

Séries: Karin Müller (3)

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365544,983 (3.71)Nenhum(a)
The body of a teenage boy is found weighted down in a lake. Karin Müller, newly appointed Major of the People's Police, is called to investigate. But her power will only stretch so far, when every move she makes is under the watchful eye of the Stasi. Then, when the son of Müller's team member goes missing, it quickly becomes clear that there is a terrifying conspiracy at the heart of this case, one that could fast lead Müller and her young family into real danger. Can she navigate this complex political web and find the missing boy, before it's too late?… (mais)
Membro:johnwbeha
Título:A Darker State: The gripping cold war thriller perfect for fans of Robert Harris
Autores:David Young (Autor)
Informação:Zaffre Publishing (2018), 384 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca, Lendo atualmente
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A Darker State de David Young

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Exibindo 5 de 5
Finished - review coming soon.
  InnahLovesYou | Jan 3, 2020 |
This is the third in the series of novels featuring Oberleutnant (now promoted to Major) Karin Muller, the only female lead criminal investigator in East Germany in 1976. I still like Karin and her newly discovered family members continue to be the cause of some drama and give rise to conflict between Karin's loyalty to them and her professional duties. The plot this time concerns failed unethical experimentation on young gay men in order to try to "convert" them, in a society where, although homosexuality had been decriminalised in 1968, much prejudice still remained (as it did, of course in Western Europe as well). Despite this dark background, this felt to me like a rather more standard police procedural than the previous two novels, and this didn't wow me as much, though I will pursue the series, and have already pre-ordered the next book. ( )
  john257hopper | Nov 27, 2018 |
Life in East Germany in the mid-1970s is the true subject of David Young’s intriguing series of police procedurals-cum-political-thrillers, and dark it is. Oberleutnant Karin Müller in East Berlin’s Kriminalpolizei—considered by some overpromoted to that post—has been inexplicably promoted again while on maternity leave. Now a major, she’s being put in charge of a team that will oversee investigations of high-profile murders anywhere in the country, murders that might “prove embarrassing to the Republic.” In other words, investigations that inevitably will put her on a collision course with the Ministry for State Security, the dreaded East German Secret Police. The Stasi.
Müller isn’t eager to cut short her maternity leave. But, as inducement, her boss reveals that a spacious apartment will be hers if she accepts the new job assignment—a giant step up from the tiny quarters where she’s living with her infant twins, their father, and her grandmother. And there’s the not inconsiderable inducement that she’d be working again with Werner Tilsner who also has been promoted. Müller accepts. Thank goodness. Now we can move on with the story and leave behind awkward references to the series’ earlier books.
Their first case arises when Tilsner is summoned to where a young man’s body has been found. The body has the marks of restraints and, it turns out, an abnormally high amount of testosterone in his blood. He’s only the first. The roadblocks that Müller and Tilsner encounter as their investigation proceeds have the machinations of the Stasi written all over them.
Meanwhile, Jonas Schmidt, the pedantic Kriminaltechniker who aids Müller and Tilsner with the forensic aspects of their investigations is in an increasingly sour mood. Trouble at home. Schmidt’s teenage son Markus has taken up with friends his parents deem unsuitable. Markus’s new friends are homosexual, and you suspect he’s being set up for something dangerous, even if he doesn’t see it. While East Germany legalized homosexuality in 1968, changing the law has not changed prejudices.
As in his first book, Stasi Child, Young tells part of the story from a victim’s first-person point of view, in this case Markus’s, starting a few months before Müller and Tilsner begin their new assignment. It’s a clever way to introduce backstory, since all crimes have some sort of history.
While the time shifts were mostly easy to follow, what would add to my understanding of the narrative would be a map showing the places the story takes place. Frequently, Müller is torn by late-night calls to go off somewhere, leaving the twins with her grandmother once again. I had no sense of whether these places are a few miles or a few hundred miles distant. ( )
  Vicki_Weisfeld | Apr 4, 2018 |
Synopsis/blurb....

For the Stasi, it's not just the truth that gets buried . . .

The body of a teenage boy is found weighted down in a lake. Karin Müller, newly appointed Major of the People's Police, is called to investigate. But her power will only stretch so far, when every move she makes is under the watchful eye of the Stasi.

Then, when the son of Müller's team member goes missing, it quickly becomes clear that there is a terrifying conspiracy at the heart of this case, one that could fast lead Müller and her young family into real danger.

Can she navigate this complex political web and find the missing boy, before it's too late?

Praise for the Karin Müller series

'Masterful. . . an intricate, absorbing page-turner' Daily Express

'Superb. A thrilling Cold War mystery that reminded me of Robert Harris at his best' Mason Cross
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My take......

A Darker State brings a murder mystery set in East Germany at the height of the Cold War. Apart from a bit of espionage in the form of Brian Freemantle's Charlie Muffin, it's not a place I have visited in my fiction reading. After this one, I'll definitely be returning with David Young and Karin Muller and her team.

The murder mystery itself would be interesting enough - a young man's body has washed up on the banks of a river - the bindings on the body ruling out accidental drowning. Factor in the setting - East Berlin - a society where the State has its eyes and ears everywhere in the form of the Stasi and there's another level of intrigue and tension in the narrative.

Muller has been newly promoted and has a new flat to go with her position. She's a Major in the People's Police, an almost single mother of twins with an on-off troubled relationship with their father and a full-time baby minder in the form of her grandmother, who lives with her (and the father of the twins some of the time).

Muller and her team, comprising Tilsner her deputy and a forensic officer, Schmidt start investigating the death. Before too long there's interference and pressure from a couple of Stasi officers. With Muller refusing to give up on the investigation, especially as it may have a connection to Schmidt’s son – a troubled young man who has gone missing; the Stasi pull rank and assume responsibility for the case. Muller’s boss circumvents that by allowing the team to investigate the disappearance of Markus Schmidt.

The narrative dips back and forward in time during 1976 and we get a perspective from our missing lad which helps piece together the puzzle.

I really enjoyed this one. Politics, paranoia and suspicion pervade the narrative. There are references to previous cases (A Darker State is the third book in the series) which intrigued rather than irritated me. Muller negotiates a minefield, where the ire of the State can be brought to bear at any minute with little regard for natural justice. Favours, secrets and influence gets traded before we get answers.

Tense, intelligent and not just a little frightening, A Darker State is a fascinating peep behind the Iron Curtain and the workings of an imperfect state.

David Young has a new fan and the two earlier books in the series have been added to the TBR pile – Stasi Child and Stasi Wolf.

5 from 5

David Young has his website here.
http://stasichild.blogspot.co.uk/p/about_27.html

Read in February, 2018
Published – 2018
Page count – 384
Source – review copy from publisher, Bonnier Zaffre
Format - paperback

https://col2910.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/david-young-darker-state-2018.html ( )
  col2910 | Feb 19, 2018 |
Set in Stasi controlled East Germany in the 1970s this is the third book in a series which features Karin Müller, a murder squad detective based in East Berlin. When the story starts she is still on maternity leave following the birth of twins but, when asked to head up a new team which will have state-wide responsibility for complex murder investigations, and with the irresistible offer of a much larger apartment and a promotion to Major, two grades higher than her current grade, she is persuaded to return to work earlier than she really wants to. Her deputy, Werner Tilsner joins her, with a similarly enhanced promotion, and they are immediately faced with an investigation into the murder of a teenage boy, found in a lake on the border with Poland. It quickly becomes apparent that this is going to be a complex investigation, one which will attract unwelcome and threatening interference from high-ranking Stasi officers, as well as rivalrous interference from the local police officers. When Markus Schmidt, the teenage son of her team’s forensic scientist, goes missing there appear to be some similarities in the circumstances of his disappearance so the race is on to try to find him alive.
Karen’s loyalties are torn as she struggles with solving an increasingly complex investigation whilst desperately missing the twins, feeling guilty about the extra burden she is putting on her aging grandmother, who is looking after them, and her deteriorating relationship with Emil, her partner and the father of the children. In addition to all these stresses, she is ever fearful of the ubiquitous spying and interference from the Stasi, always aware that they have the power to change her life in an instant. Told mostly through a third-person narrative there are some chapters which start a few months prior to the present day investigation, told from the first person point of view of Markus. I thought this switch in both voice and time was well handled and added an extra depth to the development of the story.
Although I hadn’t read the earlier books I found that there were enough clues in the narrative to enable me to fully engage with this story, without constantly wondering what had happened previously, always a difficult balance to achieve but one which the author managed well. The story very quickly becomes increasingly dark and complex and it soon becomes clear that not only are Karin and her team under pressure to solve the cases, but that there are many outside influences and conflicts of interest which they have to contend with. These will not only hamper their enquiries but will also put them in personal danger.
I found this an immediately engaging story which, from the very start, was full of tension and intrigue and a satisfying number of twists and turns. It was soon clear that the author has done a considerable amount of research into this period of time in Germany’s recent history. The oppressive atmosphere of a police state was evocatively captured and, as the story progressed, the fears about who could be trusted added increasing tension to the story-telling. The all-pervasive influence and power of the Stasi permeated the developing plot, with all the paranoia which was central to living during that communist regime – this was indeed an example of the “darker state” which governed people’s lives.
I thought that the characters were well-drawn and credible, particularly Karin, who struggled so hard to reconcile the often conflicting aspects her personal, professional and political ideals. I loved the fact that although she is a strong, ambitious young woman, she is also sensitive and flawed – a convincingly complex character. I also liked the fact that there was no black and white division between people from the East and those from the West but that there was a recognition that, whatever the machinations of the state, there are good and bad people on either side of the divide and that each side is equally capable of promoting propaganda to support their stance!
David Young’s considerable knowledge of the country and its history informs his writing throughout and yet I never felt that his use of his research got in the way of his story-telling, rather, he used it to provide a credible background to enhance the reader’s understanding of the reasons underlying some of the actions, and reactions, of his characters. I admired and appreciated this because all too often authors get this balance wrong.
Having read and enjoyed this novel I feel tempted to read the first two in the series but, even if I don’t do that, I will certainly keep an eye out for the next one (due out in 2019) because I would like to know how Karin continues her attempts to resolve the tensions and demands between her personal relationships and her professional advancement!
My thanks to Readers First for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  linda.a. | Feb 5, 2018 |
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The body of a teenage boy is found weighted down in a lake. Karin Müller, newly appointed Major of the People's Police, is called to investigate. But her power will only stretch so far, when every move she makes is under the watchful eye of the Stasi. Then, when the son of Müller's team member goes missing, it quickly becomes clear that there is a terrifying conspiracy at the heart of this case, one that could fast lead Müller and her young family into real danger. Can she navigate this complex political web and find the missing boy, before it's too late?

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