A Trace of Smoke: Book summary and reviews of A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell

A Trace of Smoke

by Rebecca Cantrell

A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell X
A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell
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  • Published May 2009
    304 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

Even though hardened crime reporter Hannah Vogel knows all too well how tough it is to survive in 1931 Berlin, she is devastated when she sees a photograph of her brother’s body posted in the Hall of the Unnamed Dead. Ernst, a cross-dressing lounge singer at a seedy nightclub, had many secrets, a never-ending list of lovers, and plenty of opportunities to get into trouble.

Hannah delves into the city’s dark underbelly to flush out his murderer, but the late night arrival of a five-year-old orphan on her doorstep complicates matters. The endearing Anton claims that Hannah is his mother… and that her dead brother Ernst is his father.

As her investigations into Ernst’s murder and Anton's parentage uncover political intrigue and sex scandals in the top ranks of the rising Nazi party, Hannah fears not only for her own life, but for that of a small boy who has come to call her "mother."

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Reviews

Media Reviews


BookBrowse Review - Marnie Colton
"While the author has meticulously researched Weimar Germany to create the setting for A Trace of Smoke, the writing sometimes feels stilted, and some awkward subplots further detract from the book's appeal. As a result, this novel is most likely to appeal to audiences with an appetite for historical thrillers where the writing style is secondary to the narrative."


Other Reviews
"Starred Review. This unforgettable novel, which can be as painful to read as the history it foreshadows, builds to an appropriately bittersweet ending." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Evocative, compassionate and compelling." - Kirkus Reviews

"Cantrell nails both the '‘life is a cabaret' atmosphere and the desperation floating inside the champagne bubbles… a promising debut." - Booklist

"Starred Review. Sure to appeal to fans of Alan Furst and other noir historical thrillers; strongly recommended." - Library Journal

This information about A Trace of Smoke was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Rebecca Cantrell

Rebecca Cantrell majored in German, Creative Writing, and History at the Freie Universitaet of Berlin and Carnegie Mellon University. She currently lives in Hawaii with her husband and son. A Trace of Smoke was her first novel.

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