Detective Inspector Nikolai Hoffner

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Rosa
Rosa
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November 1918. A socialist revolution is sweeping across Germany, wreaking havoc on war-torn Berlin. Amid the ruin of the city's slums, four women are found dead—all with identical scars on their backs. Detective Inspector Nikolai Hoffner and his assistant, Hans Fichte, are baffled by the killings, and when another body is discovered, the case takes an ominous and unexpected turn. The fifth victim is none other than Rosa Luxemburg—a leader of the suppressed socialist uprising. Now, the Polpo, political police, are interested in the murders, and the mystery of Rosa's death leads Hoffner into the heart of Weimar's political turmoil, where ideas can be fatal.

A spellbinding historical thriller from the author of The Second Son and Shadow and Light, Rosa is "a ghostly noir that could have been conspired at by Raymond Chandler and André Malraux . . . astonishing" (John Leonard, Harper's Magazine).

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Detective Inspector Nikolai Hoffner (Volume 1)

Jonathan Rabb

Picador

November 1918. A socialist revolution is sweeping across Germany, wreaking havoc on war-torn Berlin. Amid the ruin of the city's slums, four women are found dead—all with identical scars...

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The Second Son
The Second Son
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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.

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Detective Inspector Nikolai Hoffner (Volume 3)

Jonathan Rabb

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

An Intriguing Historical Thriller Set in the Barcelona of the Spanish Civil War On the eve of Hitler’s Olympics, Chief Inspector Nikolai...

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Shadow and Light
Shadow and Light
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Berlin, between the two world wars. When an executive at the renowned Ufa film studios is found dead floating in his office bathtub, it falls to Nikolai Hoffner, a chief inspector in the Kriminalpolizei, to investigate. With the help of Fritz Lang (the German director) and Alby Pimm (leader of the most powerful crime syndicate in Berlin), Hoffner finds his case taking him beyond the world of film and into the far more treacherous landscape of Berlin’s sex and drug trade, the rise of Hitler’s Brownshirts (the SA), and the even more astonishing attempts by onetime monarchists to rearm a post-Versailles Germany. Being swept up in the case are Hoffner’s new lover, an American talent agent for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and his two sons: Georg, who has dropped out of school to work at Ufa, and Sascha, his angry, older son, who, unknown to his father, has become fully entrenched in the new German Workers Party as the aide to its Berlin leader, Joseph Goebbels.

What a spellbinding novel Shadow and Light is, and what a novelist Jonathan Rabb has become!

When we last met Hoffner, it was 1919, and he had taken on the disappearance and death of Rosa Luxembourg in Rosa, a novel the critic John Leonard hailed as “a ghostly noir that could have been conspired at by Raymond Chandler and André Malraux.” Shadow and Light is equally brilliant and atmospheric, and even harder to put down or shake off. Like Joseph Kanon or Alan Furst, Rabb magically fuses a smart, energetic narrative with layers of fascinating, vividly documented history. The result is a stunning historical thriller, created by a writer to celebrate—and contend with.


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Detective Inspector Nikolai Hoffner (Volume 2)

Jonathan Rabb

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Berlin, between the two world wars. When an executive at the renowned Ufa film studios is found dead floating in his office bathtub, it falls to Nikolai Hoffner, a chief inspector in the Kriminalpolizei,...

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