Stasi Child by David Young. A late late review….


Publication Date: Available Now from Twenty7

Source: Review copy. And purchased copy.

When Oberleutnant Karin Müller is called to investigate a teenage girl’s body at the foot of the wall, she imagines she’s seen it all before. But when she arrives she realises this is a death like no other: the girl was trying to escape – but from the West.

Müller is a member of the national police, but the case has Stasi written all over it. Karin is tasked with uncovering the identity of the girl, but her Stasi handlers assure her that the perpetrators are from the West ­- and strongly discourage her asking questions.

The evidence doesn’t add up, and Muller soon realises the crime scene has been staged. But this is not a regime that tolerates a curious mind, and Muller doesn’t realise that the trail she’s following will lead her dangerously close to home . . .

I’m a bit late reviewing Stasi Child, which has actually caused much hilarity but in the end I win. As I knew I would…

The thing with Stasi Child is that it doesnt matter that this is a late review because that book has stayed with me. When I rather randomly decided that today would be the day, I thought I’d have to remind myself of the read somewhat but then discovered that I remembered it pretty much in its entirety – the political landscape, Karin Muller a completely engaging character, the beautifully done descriptive sense of it all – I guess in a lot of ways that is the biggest compliment I could pay it considering the number of books I read, take it as read that this is really really good…

There are lots of reviews of this novel out there -many speaking to how David Young has recreated with a huge dose of creative genius the stifling and claustrophobic atmosphere and reality of 1970’s Berlin – and that he has. Whether you know something or nothing of this period of history you’ll get it – in fact you’ll be right there as events unfold. For me as a reader that is when it works – Allowing the truth of the time to unfold within the story, underneath the narrative, the characters live it so YOU live it – much better than random history lesson type info dumps in some historical novels…

For me though its always about the emotional resonance of a story and Stasi Child had emotional resonance in spades – this was a book I devoured – along with the deep and lasting sense of history you get a banging good story, a proper page turner with absolutely the most gorgeous and absorbing writing style. I mean what else can you ask for really..

Well you want decent characters who you can identify with, want to follow down the rabbit hole, root for or alternatively wish fiery painful death upon – you can put a big tick in that box also. Karin as a main protagonist incredibly well drawn and full of depth I LOVED her (big big book love because I just wanted her to win godarnit) – as she wakes up to the realities of her country and the way it works, begins to doubt her own loyalties, her journey is totally engaging and I was with her all the way. Surrounded by an eclectic and enigmatic cast (Klaus Jager hmm) of others, there was not a single dull moment in the entirety of Stasi Child, not once did attention wander and really I only put it down to feed the kids. Apparently it is frowned upon not to do so.

Belting crime story too. The tale twists and turns, thought provoking and so addictive, weaving its way through the historical flavouring, the character arcs and just so perfectly constructed to engage and inform and entertain, really storytelling doesnt get much better than this. David Young is  a bit of a genius but sssh don’t tell him I said that. I may NEVER see my blog post if he is too busy preening. Plus I’d really like another book from this author soon. Writing up this review has made my chronic impatience kick in.

Brilliant brilliant book. Just read it (you won’t need to weep)

Good blogger friend Christine and I recently interviewed David at Crimefest – look out for that coming soon it was a corker – highly entertaining. In the meantime you could…

Find out more here

Follow David on Twitter here.

You can purchase Stasi Child by clickety clicking right HERE

Happy Reading!





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