Antonio's Reviews > The Sleepwalkers

The Sleepwalkers by Paul Grossman
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M 50x66
's review
Sep 21, 2011

really liked it
Read from September 20 to October 11, 2011

I've read a lot of thriller/detective novels. Lately I've been searching out ones set in other countries, during recent pivotal times. The Sleepwalkers is set in Berlin 1932-33, shortly before the Nazi's gained full political control. You can read plot summaries elsewhere, but I wanted to focus on the quality of this book.

Other historical fiction can fail due to the author's investment in his/her own research: they get lost in describing a detailed world and forget to write a good story or to create believable characters that we can care about. The Sleepwalkers follows a gripping detective investigating a horrifically brutal crime, and the setting of pre-war Berlin gives us additional insight into the motivations and aspirations of the characters. Germany in the 30's is an important character itself, but only in its relations with Willi, the detective, and the people he loves or hates.

If you enjoy detective novels, this one is great as that. If you enjoy historical fiction, there are many details for you. If you like them both, this book will not be a waste of your time.

Note: I received this book from the Goodreads First Reads program. I didn't let that influence my review; I really enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to Grossman's next one.

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Reading Progress

10/11/2011 page 284

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