In 1920s Munich, Faye Kellerman’s backdrop for this murder mystery is a war-torn city steeped in political unrest. As a barbaric butcher stalks the city, hate-mongers abound, ready to point fingers at any suspect in order to solve the crime and settle the unrest.
But Axel Berg is persistent in attempting to solve the crimes, and not just to close his case; he relentlessly pursues this goal, despite the obstacles he encounters along the way. Beautiful women are murdered and dumped in close proximity to one another, artfully arranged, suggesting psychological issues of childhood trauma. The closer Berg comes to identifying a possible suspect, another one crops up. As he draws closer to finding the ties that link the suspects to one another, he sets himself up as a target for the madman.
Kellerman’s clues kept me guessing all the way through, and I enjoyed the way she sprinkled them on the pathway to finding out the madman’s identity at the very end.
The beginning was a bit slow and I didn’t completely connect to the story for awhile, but once I did, I couldn’t put Straight into Darkness down. Kellerman’s skill swept me along to a startling finish. Four stars.