Sunday, 12 October 2008

TITLE: THE KINGDOM OF ASHES AUTHOR: Robert Edric DATE PUBLISHED: 2007 DATE READ: October 2008 NOTES: This book has a really interesting theme. It is set in Germany in 1946 when the British, American and Russian victors were rounding up war criminals and putting them on trial. Alex Foster is a British interrogator who finds himself in conflict with the interests of the Americans and the local Germans. Unfortunately from a promising beginning the book fails to deliver. The characters are not well developed, the writing is mediocre and the plot is disappointing. The dialogue comes alive during the interrogations with the German prisoners but is not sustained. Also the role of the British contingent is very unclear. As well as interrogating prisoners (which I suspect would be a full-time occupation) Foster investigates bodies found in a cellar from the bombing, helps a pregnant young German girl, visits a local displaced persons camp etc. All a bit implausible. And although he obviously is fluent in German, quite a few of the local people are fluent in English but with no explanation of how they learnt the language.

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