Nancy's Reviews > Shadow and Light

Shadow and Light by Jonathan Rabb
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's review
Apr 29, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: mysteries
Read in April, 2012

I would love to sit in the room when an author and publisher discuss (or debate) what to name a "literary" novel. Often understanding the name requires more thought than the book deserves. This title intrigues me because as I read I kept searching for the light. And searching. And searching. Trust me it was no where to be found except in the technical apparatus of the film industry.

Pre WW2 Germany has inspired alot of recent fiction and I've been enjoying a mini-immersion into the Weimer Republic through historical novels. So I picked up this one to continue the experiences and was definitely caught up in the shadows of Berlin in the 1920's. And, searching for some light at the end of the tunnel of darkness.

This took me to a place that I was eager to escape. But the squirmy feeling I had reading it slowed me down rather than quickening my pace (as a reader). Although billed as a mystery, I elected to read it as an historical novel (good thing, the mystery was convoluted and somewhat frustrating to follow). The atmosphere of the book was its strength for me--like Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles, the dingy offices and tawdry nightclubs really saved the book for me. And, the family dynamic between the detective and his two sons was heart-wrenching and interesting.

So, quite a mixed bag in this book.
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