The Second Son: Book summary and reviews of The Second Son by Jonathan Rabb

The Second Son

The Berlin Trilogy #3

By Jonathan Rabb

The Second Son
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2011,
    304 pages.

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Book Summary

On the eve of Hitler's Olympics, Chief Inspector Nikolai Hoffner, a half Jew, has been forced out of the Kriminalpolizei. Luckily, Hoffner's focus is elsewhere. His son Georg is missing in Spain, swept up in the sudden outbreak of the civil war. He has already lost Sascha, his elder son, who is fully entrenched in the Nazi regime. But Georg is not what he appears to be, and when Hoffner discovers this, he is determined to save the one son he can.

The Second Son is the eagerly awaited final installment in Jonathan Rabb's Berlin trilogy, set between the two world wars. In Harper’s Magazine, John Leonard called the first, Rosa, "a ghostly noir that could have been conspired at by Raymond Chandler and André Malraux." The second, Shadow and Light (2009), garnered rave reviews - in The Washington Post, Wendy Smith praised its "atmosphere" and "brilliantly plotted narrative." Now, nearly ten years after the events of Shadow and Light, Hoffner finds himself tossed into the chaos that is Spain - where he quickly meets anarchists, Soviet and British secret agents, and a female doctor called Mila Pera - as he follows a trail of clues left by Georg.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Rabb's gripping conclusion to his Berlin noir trilogy...fans of Alan Furst and Philip Kerr will be rewarded." - Publishers Weekly

"The best-selling success of Furst and Kerr has shown there is an audience for 1930s noir novels, and Rabb's well-written historical thriller will not disappoint." - Library Journal

"The well-researched Civil War details elbow aside the family drama, to the novel's detriment." - Kirkus Reviews

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Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Eric Bangor
Great
Loved this book. Great atmosphere. Great story. I'll be reading the other two in the trilogy.

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Author Information

Jonathan Rabb Author Biography

Joyce Ravid

Jonathan Rabb is best known for his Berlin Trilogy (Rosa, Shadow and Light, and The Second Son) the critically acclaimed series of historical thrillers set in Berlin and Barcelona between the World Wars, from 1919 to 1937. In 2006, Rabb won the international Dashiell Hammett prize at the Spanish Semana Negra Festival for Rosa, the first novel of his trilogy, about the mystery surrounding the murder of Socialist leader Rosa Luxemburg. He is also the author of The Overseer and The Book of Q.

The son and grandson of historians on both sides—his father is Princeton University professor of Renaissance and Reformation history, Theodore K. Rabb—Jonathan Rabb was initially convinced that his future would lie in academia. In 1992, Rabb was in Germany as a Fulbright scholar, ...

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