Customer Review

Reviewed in Australia on 3 November 2016
I came to these Joe Wilderness books after reading the fabulous Inspector Troy novels. 'Then We Take Berlin' is the first part of a story which ends where the second novel, 'The Unfortunate Englishman' picks up, so readers should be aware that they need to continue on to the next novel soon after this one to make sense of the full arc of the story.

Unfortunately I didn't find the main protagonist as interesting a character as Frederick Troy, while the author's device of jumping backwards and forwards through the story, without any apparent reason, ended up making me wonder whether confusing the timeline was in fact a deliberate ploy to disguise weaknesses in the plot. One of Lawton's great strengths in the Troy novels was his insight into and ability to illuminate English society and mores in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s; but moving his focus to Berlin, though effective in places, never provided me with the same sense of intimate understanding of human beings in a particular time and place that marked out the Troy novels as real works of literature and not simply crime novels.

This is a good read, but don't expect Lawton at his masterly best.
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