Not quite halfway into Shadow and Light
, the second installment of Jonathan Rabb's planned trilogy of novels about Berlin police detective Nikolai Hoffner, the mysterious American woman he's become entangled with advises him that the case he is working on - which involves a possible murder, the production of porno films, a missing actress, and the theft of a device that could change the future of film - isn't as tricky as he's trying to make it. "The way out isn't any more complicated than the way back in."
This rang all sorts of bells for me. When you sit down to write a book review, you must first find your way in; eventually you will need a way out too and it's nice if they bear some connection to each other. It is also a good description of the plotting and writing or the reading and solving of a detective story. How complicated (bad) or complex (good)...
Beyond the Book
Shadow and Light Stands Alone
Don't worry if you haven't read Rosa
, Rabb's first book in this planned trilogy. Though Shadow and Light
alludes to events chronicled in the first book, it holds up well as a stand-alone novel, and won't spoil the first if you choose to read them out of order.
The Shadow Side of Film in Weimar Berlin
Nikolai Hoffner is, he admits, not a big fan of the cinema, so meeting studio executives and the well-known director Fritz Lang does not much impress him. Lang's immediate friendliness, however, does have an effect on the jaded police detective. [Lang] "looked at Hoffner as if the two had had this conversation a thousand times: the intimacy was oddly engaging." If Hoffner hasn't spent much time...