Tag: Karen Muller

David Young – A Darker State | Review

Title: A Darker State

Author: David Young

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 376

Rating: 3.5*/5

 

David Young - A Darker State

David Young – A Darker State

 

Disclaimer: While I am to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.

This book is the third book in Young’s Karen Muller series and as with the others, it takes place in East Germany during the Cold War and follows the young detective through another adventure. I really loved Stasi Child (the first book) and quite liked Stasi Wolf (the second), and I guess that trend has continued into this one, the third.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. The story was fine, but it just wasn’t as engaging as the others and there was a lot of back story to try to remember. On top of that, the story itself mainly focuses on medical trials on homosexuals and we repeatedly have people’s sexuality revealed as a plot twist. It’s not that it’s handled insensitively or anything, it’s just that I’m not so sure it’s necessary. It seemed as though all of the gay characters were only in it so they could die.

I should clarify here that perhaps it’s just me as a reader and that I’m starting to grow tired of Muller’s world. I feel a little bit as though the worldbuilding that made the first one such a great read has now started to make the stories feel a little claustrophobic. Where the others gripped me and dragged me in, I feel like I just sort of floated through the story without actually being engaged with it.

Still, I am glad that I read it and I imagine I’ll continue with the series when the next books come out. Young has signed on for two more and the next one is supposed to take a darker turn, which should be good. That said, I wouldn’t recommend starting out the series with this one because Stasi Child was fantastic and it’s also the first one in the series. Grab that instead and if you get to this one and you’re still enjoying it then you’ll probably want to grab it anyway.

I just hope that the next one is on par with the first one. Guess we’ll see.

 

David Young

 

Click here to buy A Darker State.

 


David Young – Stasi Child | Review

Title: Stasi Child

Author: David Young

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 410

Rating: 9/10

 

David Young - Stasi Child

David Young – Stasi Child

 

Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.

I have a lot of love for Stasi Child – If I understand correctly, it was the author’s debut, yet you wouldn’t know it. Meticulously researched and incredibly well-written, it comes recommended from me – even more impressive is the fact that I was given an uncorrected proof copy, and I still didn’t spot any obvious mistakes.

So, let’s take a look at the story-line – loosely speaking, it follows detective Karen Muller as she investigates the death of a young girl, who’s found apparently fleeing from West Germany to East Germany, with bullets indicating she’d been shot by the West. But not everything is as it seems, and so Karen is tasked with investigating, despite the fact that higher-ups within the Stasi might be implicated.

At this point, I should probably also mention that the book is set in East Berlin in 1974, and so you’re in for a Cold War murder mystery thriller that’s like nothing I’ve ever read before. In some ways, it’s almost historical fiction, and that’s a good thing – I don’t know too much about what happened to Germany after the end of the Second World War, and so I felt like I was learning whilst still being entertained by a tightly-knit tale of espionage and intrigue.

 

David Young

David Young

 

The characterisation is great here, and it’s one of those rare books where characters and plot come together perfectly, complementing each other to make a book that’s one of a kind. I say that, although I’m pretty sure that Young is planning to continue the series – I look forward to the day when Karin Muller is, if not a household name, at least one that’s reasonably well-known. Stasi Child was a promising start, and I look forward to reading more of Young’s work in the future.

Stasi Child is also a launch title for Twenty7 Books, a brand new imprint of Bonnier Publishing Fiction. If it’s any indication of the quality of the books that they’ll be putting out, then this is definitely a press to keep an eye on, and to submit to if you think you’re good enough. Here’s hoping that they have more books like Stasi Child up their sleeves – if they do, I’ll be first in line to review them for sure.

 

The Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall

 

Click here to buy Stasi Child.