Today I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Night of Shooting Stars by Ben Pastor
Berlin, July 1944, a few weeks before the attempted assassination of Hitler by Claus von Stauffenberg and other conspirators. Bora has been called back from the Italian Front to investigate the murder of a dazzling clairvoyant with Nazi connections. But there is more at stake than murder in this city obsessed with rumours about a conspiracy aimed at the heart of the Nazi hierarchy.
Bora, tired, disillusioned, struggling with the ghost of the final dissolution of Germany, finds that trying to solve the case leads to a meeting with Stauffenberg himself. He must decide whether Stauffenberg and the plotters are heroes devoted to the salvation of Germany, or compromised opportunists looking to radically reinvent themselves in the eyes of the Western Allies and Stalinist Russia.
Now, I haven’t quite finished reading, but goodness, this is a gripping thriller. It takes an interesting and (in my opinion) different perspective to Berlin during the Second World War. The tide was definitely turning for Germany and Ben paints a vivid and atmospheric picture of a country in turmoil. As an English reader it is fascinating to look at things from a different point of view.
This is the seventh novel in The Martin Bora series, but I didn’t feel out of touch when reading, indeed the story is complex, well-structured and draws you in. I am intrigued to read the earlier novels, and this is certainly an author I would eagerly return to again. She is a rather good historical writer and effortlessly weaves together fact and fiction. Something I feel is at the heart of historical fiction, it adds so much depth and a level of truth that keeps the reader spellbound. Bora is an incredibly interesting and complex character to read. There is a great deal of personal history there and I found him very enjoyable to read. So, there is something for everyone here; historical intrigue and atmosphere, crime, deception, and of course a highly readable character. When it comes right down to it this is a hugely enjoyable thriller but with a fascinating insight into this time in history.
This is a great choice for fans of historical fiction and especially readers of The Bernie Gunther series by Phillip Kerr and Alan Furst’s Spies of the Balkans.
Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and also to the lovely people at Bitter Lemon Press for sending me a review copy.
About the author
BEN PASTOR, born in Italy, worked as a university professor in Vermont. She is one of the most talented writers in the field of historical fiction. In 2008 she won the prestigious Premio Zaragoza for best historical fiction. She writes in English.