• The Man from Berlin

  • Gregor Reinhardt, Book 1
  • By: Luke McCallin
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 14 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (522 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In war-torn Yugoslavia, a beautiful young filmmaker and photographer - a veritable hero to her people - and a German officer have been brutally murdered. Assigned to the case is military intelligence officer Captain Gregor Reinhardt. Already haunted by his wartime actions and the mistakes he's made off the battlefield, he soon finds that his investigation may be more than just a murder, and that the late Yugoslavian heroine may have been much more brilliant - and treacherous - than anyone knew. Maneuvering his way through a minefield of political, military, and personal agendas and vendettas, Reinhardt knows that someone is leaving a trail of dead bodies to cover their tracks. But those bloody tracks may lead Reinhardt to a secret hidden within the ranks of the powerful that they will do anything to keep. And his search for the truth may kill him before he ever finds it.

©2013 Luke McCallin (P)2014 Tantor

What listeners say about The Man from Berlin

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Solid 1st novel of WWII Nazi officer in Sarajevo

Very good first novel by this author. Read it. Here's why :

What attracted me to this book are the few but positive reviews and -- most importantly -- the fact that the story takes place in Sarajevo in 1943. It is an unusual (exotic?) combination of time and place for a novel about a murder investigation. I find many of the modern attempts at publishing historical novels end up featuring bland/overused stories disguised as something new, missing yet another opportunity to tell us what it was like during those days.

The Man From Berlin did not fufill my apprehensions : it was entertaining, original, fascinating and un-pretentious. The narrator did a very good job of speaking with just a touch of a German accent and his intonation fit the style. I learned a lot about the sad and complex history of the peoples of the Balkans. For instance I learned that Sarajevo, today the capital city of Bosnia & Herzegovina, was forced to be included in the short-lived Nazi puppet-state called "Independant State of Croatia" and that the Croat pro-Nazi party (the Ustaše) was in charge. A significant number of ethnic Croats were enrolled in German SS divisions made sure Germany's politics were carried out locally. While many atrocities were commited, the author wisely chose to mention it clearly and not dwell emotionally on the subject. The Nazis are favorite villains in fiction and I applaud Mr. McCallin for not feeding the trolls in this work. The subject of Jews cannot be avoided and the author did a very graceful job at casting an era-appropriate view of Hitler's most known ethnic policies.

There are many bad historical novels out there, and quite a few ordinary ones too. The Man from Berlin was a gamble for me. I will definitely be following this author in the future.

22 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best of this genre!

I love this period of historical novel and McCallin is the best I've read so far. In the beginning it's a bit hard to keep track of all the characters, but stick with it; the book is very well written and very suspenseful. Narration is great including a multitude of voices and quirks vocalic quirks for several characters. I just finished the book and purchased Book 2. Can't wait to keep up with Gregor Reinhardt.

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fabulous narration, excellent writing

The narrator, John Lee, is superb, as always. Superlatives don't capture his range of timbres and accents. McCallin's book is excellent, textured and nuanced, both in terms of his exploration of Reinhardt's character, and his depiction of intrigue and complexity in war-time Yugoslavia. The pacing is slow, but pleasurable. I'm ready for the next in the series.

10 people found this helpful

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The "Good" Nazi....

Reminds me a lot of the Bernie Gunther series by Philip Kerr, not as "Noirish" but really good read with a good tale. A good guy among thugs and chaos trying to solve a murder in a place of genocides. Highly recommend,,,, looking forward to the the next one as it looks like a new series.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Pretty Boring

I simply could not get through this book. Granted I was only 1/3 into when I quit, but I will RARELY quit listening to a book.

I will try to go back and listen to this one again, once I have exhausted my hot list, but for now I am going to rate it a 2-3-1, only because John Lee is a fabulous narrator and brings it up from a 1.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

So-so

Any additional comments?

I was looking for a new detective novel and downloaded this one which promised to be excellent. The narrator is good, the story limps a little and didn't keep me riveted. So-so; not great.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Well written, but unconvincing...

The set up is not new : a very decent former police officer serves during the second ww in the German army during the occupation of Yugoslavia. The situation by itself contains tension between good and evil and the murders that follow add more spice to the story with their political and ethnic implications . The book is well written (and one can tell that the writer has spent time in Bosnia.)...but it is not fully convincing . Dialogues lack a bit of sharpness , the characters are a bit of stereotype and the story is at times convoluted and never gets you 100% involved.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

different kind of WWII story but excellent

First time author, debut novel. A lot of stories have been written about World War II with a lot of different twists. This book had a different twist that made it interesting in its own right. The author is British and spent part of his younger adulthood as a United Nations peacekeeper stationed in Bosnia, which is where he evidently got some of the background and setting for this book. I thought the really ingenious aspect was that this author wrote the story with his lead character a German soldier. The soldier, an officer, had fought in WWI and had won a medal for bravery. But then the Nazis came to power in the 1930's and he, like many Germans, got swept up in that where resistance became futile. But, he didn't believe in the Nazis and wouldn't join the party even knowing it would hurt him professionally. He and his wife didn't like the Nazis and what they stood for. Still, when the war came he joined the army and eventually ended up in the Balkans in 1943 where the story takes place. So you throw in an occupying German army on top of already existing hatreds between Croats, Serbs, Muslims, throw in a communist partisan movement led by a guy named Tito and you have a very volatile situation. Into this environment the protagonist is thrown into a murder investigation where a German officer and a Croat woman have been killed and he is supposed to figure it out. During the investigation he comes into contact with most of these varied groups. But through it all he finds his way back to being the person he always wanted to be, the part of him that he really likes and had thought lost. I really enjoyed this story.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Keeps me interested. Good suspense. Care about the lead character
Anxious to get onto the second half. Must pay careful attention to the character names since they are unfamiliar to the American ear, but well worth it and it is manageable to do so.. Amazed that it is McCallins 1st book. I would buy. a sequel

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent picture of the Balkans during Nazi occup

Explains a lot of what we saw when the fuse hit the powder keg in the 90's in Sarajevo. Excellent human portraits.

2 people found this helpful