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The River Runs Red cover

** My thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours and Fahrenheit Press for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

Berlin is in the midst of its worst winter in decades.

Against the backdrop of freezing temperatures, blizzards and snowstorms, the city refuses to grind to a halt. Lurking within the shadows is a Stasi victim, out for revenge against the former East German informants known as ‘The Ears’. Their dark secrets are about to be exposed.

A mix of ice and water and a single gunshot, provides the ultimate payback.

With the Millennium approaching, Hanne Drais, the criminal psychologist working within the Berlin Mitte Police team led by the irascible Oskar Kruger and his laid-back sidekick, Stefan Glockner, are seeking the perpetrator of these violent crimes.

Who is the man they’ve nicknamed Snowflake?

Who is turning the river red?

My Thoughts & Review:

I absolutely love books with a Cold War setting, something about them just makes for a thrilling and enticing read, and The River Runs Red by Ally Rose is certainly that.

With a plot that spans two different timelines, Ally Rose introduces readers to a Berlin that is rife with danger and suspicion, the Stasi are omnipresent and overpowering, ordinary citizens are turning informant on their friends, neighbours and even family, and those brave enough to defect make life difficult for the ones they leave behind. But the actions of the Stasi and their informants are the catalyst for a spree of killings some years later, someone is out for revenge for having been wronged.

The dual timeline makes this quite an interesting read, readers experience a snipped of the East German way of life, and see events through the eyes of a young man struggling with life after his father’s defection to West Germany. Whilst watching life unfolding for this character, readers also see a more modern timeline where they are privy to the actions of the killer, not the exact motives or the identity of the killer but some of their thoughts and actions as they seek revenge for events from the past.
Interestingly, Ally Rose also gives readers the view of the investigating team through the eyes of Hanne Drais, a criminal psychologist working with the Berlin Police. Drais is a fantastic character, her thought processes and actions make her stand out as someone readers will want to know more about. She is a likeable character, and one that I think many readers will connect readily with.

Plotting and characterisation are well done, the way that the story unfolds is sure to hook the interest of readers and keep them captive trying to work out of they’ve guessed the connections between events and if they’ve guessed the identity of the killer. The pace is good, I found that this was a book that I was racing through, thoroughly enjoying each chapter. Giving readers a variety of characters to get to know makes this such an intriguing read, each is well rounded and multidimensional, an whilst I may not have agreed with the actions of all of them, I definitely felt that I was becoming more invested in their tales and wanted to know more.

Although The River Runs Red is the third book in the Hanne Drais series, this can definitely be read as a stand alone book. Ally Rose gives ample background information about Hanne Drais so that you get to know this character and her history, and don’t feel on the back foot at all.
Now, I think I will go back to the start of the series to enjoy books one and two!

You can buy a copy of The River Runs Red via:

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Fahrenheit Press

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