Author: Simon Scarrow
Genre: Historical Thriller / Crime
Publication Date: 16th September 2021
Berlin, December 1939
As Germany goes to war, the Nazis tighten their terrifying grip. Paranoia in the capital is intensified by a rigidly enforced blackout that plunges the city into oppressive darkness every night, as the bleak winter sun sets.
When a young woman is murdered, Criminal Inspector Horst Schenke is under pressure to solve the case, swiftly. Distrusted by his superiors for his failure to join the Nazi Party, Schenke walks a perilous line – for disloyalty is a death sentence.
The discovery of a second victim confirms Schenke’s worst fears. He must uncover the truth before evil strikes again.
As the investigation takes him closer to the sinister heart of the regime, Schenke realises there is danger everywhere – and the warring factions of the Reich can be as deadly as a killer stalking the streets . . .
I love reading historical thrillers so I was thrilled to have the chance to read Blackout, and it did not disappoint! The story follows Berlin criminal inspector Horst Schenke as he attempts to hunt down the killer of a young woman. As a second victim is discovered, Horst finds himself grappling with the various factions of the Nazi party and a killer who is using the darkness of the beginnings of War and the citywide evening blackouts to hunt his prey.
I absolutely raced through Blackout. I was so engrossed in the incredibly authentically tense atmosphere of Berlin in December 1939. Scarrow evokes such an effective feeling of fear, suspicion and helplessness that I imagine a significant proportion of Germany was experiencing as the Third Reich ruthlessly took control of every aspect of everyday German life. Horst is a truly compelling character to follow. He is clearly not a fan of the Nazi party, however he is also unwilling to lose everything, including quite possibly his life, to take a stand against them. He therefore finds himself desperately trying to keep the party off his back without losing his sense of honour and duty. It is easy to criticise people who stood by and did nothing in the face of such evil but I think, as Blackout demonstrates, the truth of actually being in that situation is infinitely more complex than it appears. The theme of conscience versus duty is one which runs throughout and is dealt with intelligently and effectively. The plot is well paced and keeps the reader completely gripped by both the twists and turns of the investigation and the various departments and organisations at play. A tense, authentic and darkly fascinating thriller. Highly recommended.
Thank you so much to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me on this tour and organising it. I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.