An Intriguing Historical Thriller Set in the Barcelona of the Spanish Civil War
On the eve of Hitler’s Olympics, Chief Inspector Nikolai Hoffner, a half Jew, has been forced out of the Kriminalpolizei. Luckily, Hoffner’s focus is elsewhere. His son Georg is missing in Spain, swept up in the sudden outbreak of the civil war. He has already lost Sascha, his elder son, who is fully entrenched in the Nazi regime. But Georg is not what he appears to be, and when Hoffner discovers this, he is determined to save the one son he can.
The Second Son is the eagerly awaited final installment in Jonathan Rabb’s Berlin trilogy, set between the two world wars. In Harper’s Magazine, John Leonard called the first, Rosa, “a ghostly noir that could have been conspired at by Raymond Chandler and André Malraux.” The second, Shadow and Light (2009), garnered rave reviews—in The Washington Post, Wendy Smith praised its “atmosphere” and “brilliantly plotted narrative.” Now, nearly ten years after the events of Shadow and Light, Hoffner finds himself tossed into the chaos that is Spain— where he quickly meets anarchists, Soviet and British secret agents, and a female doctor called Mila Pera—as he follows a trail of clues left by Georg.
In the spirit of Joseph Kanon and Alan Furst—whose Foreign Correspondent also took place in the mountains of Spain—Rabb delivers another atmospheric work, rich with his storytelling talent and historical expertise.