Ratlines, Stuart Neville, Soho Crime, ISBN 9781616952044, 355 pgs., $26.95

Europe, WW2

Europe, WW2 (Photo credit: Curtis Gregory Perry)

Dublin, 1963, a German national is murdered just a few weeks before President Kennedy is to make his first ever visit to Ireland. Lieutenant Albert Ryan is charged with investigating the case, doing so quickly and doing so quietly. Ryan quickly learns that the murdered man is a Nazi and that there are a number of German nationals living in Ireland, all with dubious pasts.

The murder is, in fact, the third such to have taken place in just a few days time and the government of Ireland does not want this coming to light just prior to what they see as an affirmation of their nationhood. As Ryan starts to dig deeper he discovers a trail of deceit and political expediency wrapped in patriotism colored by religion and money. And the deeper Ryan gets the more danger surrounds him and those he loves and the more puzzling the motivations of all involved.

This is an interesting book, not only for the story, plot and pacing but for the history that is uncovered.  The involvement of the Irish government in giving former Nazis essentially asylum is a great back drop for a novel about crime.  As well the emotions that get pulled out during Ryan’s investigation flavor the novel in ways perhaps unanticipated.

The book is very well written, more so because it’s wet 50 years in the past and that’s tough because people remember that far back and you need to get it right.  The story itself is also one worth reading and getting involved in.  Neville manages to maintain any number of personal agendas with his characters and they all twist and weave among the story itself.

I found the book engaging and interesting and  a fairly quick read as well.  There were a few twists and turns that were well place and although I found one part a bit unbelievable in terms of character I am willing to cut a writer some slack with that kind of thing if the rest of the book is well done.

Recommended and if you want to get a copy for your very own you just need to go here: Ratlines

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About damnaliens
Writer, reviewer, home provider to the Damnaliens

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