Winner of the Historical Writers' Association 2015 Debut Crown Award For New Historical Fiction.
Winner of the Betty Trask Award 2015.
July 2014 MEGA Debut of the Month.
A highly descriptive literary thriller of post-war Berlin which brilliantly illustrates the terrible aftermath of war. People live hand-to-mouth like rats scavenging for food and essentials in a constant state of fear. You can feel the atmosphere dripping off the pages. Kasper Meier, a 52-year old gay man fighting to look after his elderly father, is sucked into a strange request, to find a British airman for reasons he knows not. He takes up the challenge for Eva, or maybe her controller, we’re not sure, it matters not. The whole plot is really of little significance compared to the evocative description of place and period. A highly impressive debut.
The war is over, but Berlin is a desolate sea of rubble. There is a shortage of everything: food, clothing, tobacco. The local population is scrabbling to get by. Kasper Meier is one of these Germans, and his solution is to trade on the black market to feed himself and his elderly father. He can find anything that people need, for the right price. Even other people. When a young woman, Eva, arrives at Kasper's door seeking the whereabouts of a British pilot, he feels a reluctant sympathy for her but won't interfere in military affairs. But Eva is prepared for this. Kasper has secrets, she knows them, and she'll use them to get what she wants. As the threats against him mount, Kasper is drawn into a world of intrigue he could never have anticipated. Why is Eva so insistent that he find the pilot? Who is the shadowy Frau Beckmann and what is her hold over Eva? Under constant surveillance, Kasper navigates the dangerous streets and secrets of a city still reeling from the horrors of war and defeat. As a net of deceit, lies and betrayal falls around him, Kasper begins to understand that the seemingly random killings of members of the occupying forces are connected to his own situation. He must work out who is behind Eva's demands, and why - while at the same time trying to save himself, his father and Eva.
Closing date: 04/07/2018
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
'A powerful evocation of shattered lives trying to reconnect - and a heartbreaking story of the pain of compassion' -- Jake Arnott, bestselling author of The Long Firm
'A gripping mystery set in a surreal and terrifying post-war Berlin where nothing is quite what it seems. I loved it' -- William Ryan, author of The Korolev Mysteries series
'What I loved about this book were two things above all: firstly, a moment in time and place - devastated post-war Berlin - in which things were done that one knew nothing about, and were shocking. Secondly, he brought Kasper and Eva and the others experience to pungent physical life with his sensual description of sight, sound, and above all smell. It was real on the page. A great achievement and a tremendous debut' -- Tim Pears, author of In The Light of Morning
Publication date: 03/07/2014
Publisher: Little, Brown an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
|Publication date:||3rd July 2014|
|Publisher:||Little, Brown an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group|
|Genres:||Reader Reviewed Books, Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Thriller / Suspense,|
Ben Fergusson is a writer, editor and translator. Born in Southampton in 1980, he studied English Literature at Warwick University and Modern Languages at Bristol University, and has worked for ten years as an editor and publisher in the art world. His short fiction has appeared in publications in both the UK and the US and has won and been shortlisted for a range of prizes, including the 2010 Bridport Prize. From 2009-2010 he edited the literary journal Chroma and since 2013 has been the editor of the short story magazine Oval Short Fiction. Currently based in London, his first novel, The Spring ...More About Ben Fergusson