Straight into Darkness

Straight into Darkness

by Faye Kellerman

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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The New York Times bestselling "master of mystery" (Cleveland Plain Dealer), Faye Kellerman delivers a riveting novel set in 1920s Munich, a war-wounded city rocked by political agitation and stalked by a nameless, barbaric butcher.

Lustmord - the joy of murder. The terrifying concept seems apt for the brutal slaying of a beautiful young society wife dumped in the vast English Garden. Homicide inspector Axel Berg is horrified by the crime...and disturbed by the artful arrangement of the victim's clothes and hair - a madman's portrait of death.

Berg's superiors demand quick answers and a quick arrest: a vagrant, the woman's husband, anyone who can be demonized will do. When a second body is discovered, the city erupts into panic, the unrest fomented by the wild-eyed, hate-mongering Austrian Adolf Hitler and his Brownshirt party of young thugs.

Berg can trust no one as he relentlessly hunts a ruthless killer, dodging faceless enemies and back-alley intrigue, struggling to bring a fiend to justice before the country - and his life - veer straight into darkness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446611503
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 06/27/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 216,142
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.12(d)

About the Author

FAYE KELLERMAN is the author of the bestselling Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus novels, as well as a thriller, Moon Music, and a historical novel, The Quality of Mercy. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Jonathan Kellerman, and their children.


Beverly Hills, California

Date of Birth:

July 31, 1952

Place of Birth:

St. Louis, Missouri


B.A. in Mathematics, 1974; D.D.A., 1978

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Straight into Darkness 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous 11 months ago
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this was quite good, and a departure for Mrs. Kellerman. Axel Berg is not the morally sound police detective you're used to seeing as the main character in a novel like this. Berg is flawed and imperfect and realistic, much like Munich itself in 1929. The roiling political climate makes an excellent backdrop to the story. The end is unexpected, but not unthinkable.
librisissimo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Substance: A searing look into Germany in the time of Hitler's ascension, and the world-views that made his rise possible. The story of the Police Homicide Inspector caught up in politics and murder is intriguing, and the protagonist a sympathetic and ultimately heroic, if flawed, character.The evocative view of Weimar Germany through a Bavarian lens is used to discuss the political and social climate that Hitler manipulated, and show the people who saw the danger concomitant to his popularity, athough sometimes Kellerman stretches to bring into the story elements of the milieu that seem to be there just to complete the record.Style: Outstanding as a novel; as a mystery, not so much. No relevant clues to the perpetrator are planted (one minor conversation 250+ pages beforehand is not sufficient for fair play with the reader), nor any to the major plot-turns of the final chapters and the motivations of the actors that make them. Frequently mentioned "clues" (missing shoes) are left hanging as loose ends, and the Freudian speculations on motive are not carried through to the end. Although Kellerman uses German words and phrases to good advantage in setting the milieu, she is inconsistent (why "Kommunismus" but not "Juden"?)And the "frame" is not really necessary to the story.RATING: PG-13 for language, violence, sexual situations.Special note: Acknowledges assistance from Franz Geiger of the White Rose resistance group, most of whom were executed by Hitler.NOTES: p. 139: Why does Commisioner Volker encourage Inspector Berg to arrest the Jew Gross for his wife's murder, even though both men realize he is probably innocent, but resist the same suggestion from his own superiors?p. 187: "I believe I am done when I have nothing more to add. The work may not be exactly what I want. But adding new material will not help. So I surrender to my imperfections, curse my inability to translate to the brush what is in m head, and say, 'I quit'."..."That is the frustrating part...To see it so clearly i my brain but lack the skills to put it down on canvas."p. 211: "I know you do not approve of Herr Hitler. You think he is a thug, and maybe he is. Still, if we don't stand up for ourselves, who will stand up for us?"..."And who is trying to keep us down, Jaochim?...As painful as it is to admit, the fault cannot lie exclusively with the Jews....(and others)...At some point we...the German people...must take responsibility for our own messes...We went to war and we lost. And that, my dear son, is not the fault of the Jews."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly, I don't understand how anyone could give fewer than 5 stars! I was already a fan of F. Kellerman's books, and this one reached an unexpected level of excellence. She entered a new genre -- historical fiction -- with a powerful story. Some of the previous reviews give long summaries, some bemoan the ending. They made me want to read the book for myself. I recommend that you do what I did. READ IT for yourself.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Faye Kellerman's Rina/Decker series and enjoyed every one. But, what a nice change of pace this read is. Not only do we get some nice juicy murders, but they happen amid the backdrop of the ground swell of Hitler's Germany. The detail is wonderful, putting the reader right in 1929 Munich with all its hatred, passion and chaos. I look forward to the next Rina/Decker episode, but what a joy to have such a marvelous alternative.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent treatment of the period (1929) in Munich, Germany, with all the recognizable characters involved in the political turmoil of the times. The protagonist is a likeable, believable police homicide inspector who is under extreme pressure to solve an escalating series of murders. Unfortunately for him, political considerations get in the way, and for a member of the Munich police force who disagrees with the rising Nazi party and its head, Adolph Hitler, life becomes increasingly more difficult. He plods along with investigation throughout most of the book, but then, like a one hour television show that must wrap up the drama at the end, the culprit is discovered, the protagonist killed and the book ends. There was absolutely no need to hurry the ending and the death of the inspector makes no sense. So, all in all, it was a satisfying read, but would have been superb with a longer ending that was understandable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've enjoyed all of Faye Kellerman's books up to this point. I felt the story as presented was too jumbled and lacked focus. I didn't get any feeling of where I was in time and simply could not find any connection with the main character. This is probably due to a lack of information about the character of pre-WWII Germany. The author skimmed it but one really needed another book to set up the whole situation. I applaud her attempt however.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of Faye Kellerman's Peter/Rina Decker series but with this book she breaks out of 'mystery' and into 'literature'. This is so much more than just a whodunnit. She paints a vivid and terrifying vision of Germany between the Wars and brings it to life. I read this in 2 days and handed it to a friend who is also enjoying it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the very best of history and criminal investigation, I could not put it down! Faye Kellerman at her very best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed this mystery. Of particular note, is the 1920s atmosphere in Germany. Knowing the events that followed subsequently, produced a constant tension throughout the scenes coupled with the mystery itself. This was deftly done. Read this book for the mood setting, the great plotting and the cast of characters. And if you like period pieces with mystery and suspense then do yourself a favor and buy a copy of the spectacular novel 'Anna's Trinity' by Howard Cobiskey as well. It ranks as one of the best I have ever read in my life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can appreciate Mrs. Kellerman¿s inspiration to pen 'Straight Into Darkness'. Her father's real-life role, in the saga of World War II-era Germany, while he was there serving in the U.S. army had a lot to do with this. The main character Axel Berg is caught in the hysteria of pre-Hitler Munich, fending off the rising anti-Semitic nightmare that would soon dominate modern Germany, and struggling to solve the murder of the character Anna Gross at the same time. Eventually it is uncovered that there is a serial killer afoot as more corpses appear and the chase is on. It unfolds with the drama of the rising tide of the Nazi Germany. This is an on the edge of your seat drama and it well written.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recently bought 3 books and they were all great. I loved 'Straight into Darkness'. It kept me glued to the pages. I can't say enough. The other two were also fantastic. Get A YEAR SINCE YESTERDAY and TOO WILDE TO TAME for a great threesome.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once more, Faye Kellerman returns to her tried and true thriller ways but with a difference. Her setting is no longer contemporary but the 1920s in Munich. It is a city on the cusp of despair - Hitler is preaching hatred, and his troops roam the city laying to waste the innocent. It was lustmord - the joy of murder. Described by the author as perhaps her attempt to comprehend the inconceivable, 'Straight Into Darkness' may also affect listeners in the same way. Especially when the terrifying tale is given a dynamite performance by actor Paul Michael. Many will remember him for his superb reading of 'The Da Vinci Code.' With leading TV roles to his credit, Michael's voice reflects the frustrations in the protagonist's personal life, his initial horror at a heinous crime, and his eventual fear. Homicide inspector Axel Berg is sickened by the dead body of a lovely young socially prominent woman. She has been left in the English Garden with hair and clothes so carefully arranged that one knows the killer is deranged. Considering the state of near chaos Munich is in Berg's wife wants him to quit so that their family can escape the city. Nonetheless, the case is assigned to him and he feels duty-bound to investigate. Before he can make any headway at all the body of a second woman is discovered- it seems clear a psychotic serial killer is on the loose. Any links between the two women escape him. His superiors are edgy, demanding an arrest, anything to appease a restless, frightened population. When a man is beaten to death on the street and more murders occur, it seems that Berg himself is at risk and his investigation stymied. Kellerman has crafted a numbing, truthful story of a black time in the world's history. - Gail Cooke
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Writers often run out of steam this was flat i just read it far from the date of publication obvious i have been reading much earlier published books skipped through when i couldnt get through the first chspters a trick for book reviewing lst paragraph from every other chapter plus last chapter if you find yourself going back and reading a chapter all is not a loss unless you paid and not a library book ma 86