Thirty years after his mother's murder in war-torn Berlin, Will, a Chicago actor, explores via hypnosis what he may have witnessed as a young boy. Reliving those last days of World War II, he finds not only long-buried truths, but a killer still very much on the hunt. Told with haunting detail of the last days of the war, DEADFALL IN BERLIN was an Edgar Nominee for Best NoThirty years after his mother's murder in war-torn Berlin, Will, a Chicago actor, explores via hypnosis what he may have witnessed as a young boy. Reliving those last days of World War II, he finds not only long-buried truths, but a killer still very much on the hunt. Told with haunting detail of the last days of the war, DEADFALL IN BERLIN was an Edgar Nominee for Best Novel....
|Title||:||Deadfall in Berlin|
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Deadfall in Berlin Reviews
40 year old Will is a struggling actor in 1975 in Chicago. He was adopted by an American family following the murder of his mother in Berlin near the end of World War II. His attempts to conceal his background and the details of his mother's death have been so successful that he has blocked out much of it from himself. Will begins to see a hypnotherapist, Alecia, in an attempt to recover his lost memories. From the start of the book, Will is under siege: a car attempts to run him down, his files are stolen from his therapist, and a man chases him through the streets of Chicago. Knowing that Will's life is in danger, Alecia transports Will's mind back to Berlin, and we, the readers, are there with young Willi, sharing his horror. The majority of the remainder of the book depicts Willi's life with his mother, younger brother, and several family friends as they attempt to survive while Allied bombs explode around them.Willi's mother is an alcoholic, and she would be less than capable of taking care of her young children in even the best of circumstances. Willi's relationship with his mother is the heart of the story, and we see this relationship change as Willi becomes increasingly suspicious of his mother's connection to the Gestapo. She is "like Berlin, broken and ruined, something great gone terribly wrong." He's furious at her weaknesess, but still desperate for her motherly love and affection.The author's depiction of war time terror is incredible. My heart raced right along with Willi's as he attempts to survive both the Allied bombs and his fellow Germans who attempt to kill him. He finds the incinerated body of a loved one, and he watches as a friend is tortured, mutilated and killed by Nazis. The story races along as we await the murder of his mother. The only question is: who killed her and why? I thought this was answered exceptionally well, in a way that was both shocking and heart-breaking.I wish the story would have ended here. Instead, back in Will's present life, a twist is revealed. It irritated me because it seemed completely unnecessary and only there for shock value. Within a few paragraphs, the twist was "taken back," and I questioned its purpose even more strongly. A small quibble in an otherwise wonderfully written book.
This is one of the best post World War II books I have ever read.The plot's premise in a nutshell is: A hypnotherapist tries to make a patient open up his repressed memories although they are terrorizing. (They did a good job on me.) The patient goes along with the therapist because someone from his past is trying to do away with him.This book is written so well that, if I didn't know the author had other novels, I would have thought this to be from real life. The plot is intriguing, very rich, and full of twists and turns. The characters are very well drawn; even the secondary characters made me wish I knew their full stories, too. The language is clear, easily understandable, yet it doesn't talk down to readers. The choice of words is excellent. The prose flows and the dialogue is believable. I enjoyed this book greatly.
Well written,interesting historical information, extremely emotional drama about the end of WWII in Berlin, a fascinating perspective of all the inhabitants in war torn Germany and what they had to endure. Poor Willi, a child who endured so much but not remembering as an adult all he suffered with everything hidden in his repressed memories. A unique way of telling Will's relationship with his mother which was a large part of this novel and how during the last days of the war his feelings changed toward her.
Wonderfully written, it had an interesting concept. Only one part really bugged me: when the therapist threatened to put the villain in "permanent regression". Seemed like a silly one-liner you'd hear in an action film. Over all, an extremely emotional piece that brings you to the other side of the war, and the story of Berliners trying to escape the wrath of the Allies and Axis alike.
I didn't really care about Will's character, which made it hard for me to care about who was trying to kill him. Also found the regression therapy annoyingly easy for him to slip in and out of.