Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Straight into Darkness” as Want to Read:
Straight into Darkness
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Straight into Darkness

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  2,035 ratings  ·  140 reviews
In 1920s Munich, homicide detective Axel Berg is called to the scene of a grisly homicide, the victim being a young society wife. Soon, a second body is uncovered; the discovery of a third indicates that Berg is dealing with an unimaginably evil killer. In the Germany of the time, the investigation cannot be straightforward. Hitler's power is growing, and the Nazis are a s ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published January 2nd 2006 by Headline (first published August 1st 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,035 ratings  ·  140 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Apr 06, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2011
This book turned out to be different from FK's usual Decker&Lazarus series (which I'm kind of addicted to). Very different.

She has definitely done her research for this book. But I don't think she likes Germans at all: each and every person described in this book seems to be with poor morales and with really big flaws. All German men (and Axel Berg, the protagonist police officer, who turns out to be Danish) frequent prostitutes (with a loveless marriage, and a nagging wife, who can blame th
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Set in 1929 Munich, Straight in to Darkness is a bit of a departure from Kellerman’s usual fare (she is very well known for her popular Rina Lazarus/Peter Decker contemporary mystery series (20+ books and still going strong).

Straight in to Darkness is both a mystery and historical fiction. The protagonist, Axel Berg, is a homicide inspector brought in to solve the murder of a young socialite found dead in a public park. When a second body killed in a similar manner is found a few days later, th
Jerry B
Jul 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Complex serial murder mystery set in political turmoil of 1920's Munich...

First, if you're expecting the typical relatively soft mystery plot of Faye's regulars, Rina Lazarus and Peter Decker, they're not here!! This unusual novel features a troubling string of serial killings set in Munich Germany during the historical period in between the world wars (1920's). In addition to the unrest created by the murders, the political scene is one of total upheaval as Hitler's rise to power is well underw
Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually listened to this book and it was difficult to listen to. I can't believe I never read it before. A murder mystery set in 1920's Germany, the rise of Hitler. Historically accurate so even scarier than just the murders. Some people object to the Freudian psychology used, but that was historically accurate so it fit in well. Axel Berg is a Detective who is Danish and lives in Bavaria. The discussion of various "Germans" was interesting as was the discussions in the changes of Munich afte ...more
Cara St.Germain
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-faves
I just finished reading this this morning. Wow. I've read everything else Faye Kellerman and wasn't sure I was in the mood for something dark and heavy. But I wanted to know what happened to Rina's grandmother in Munich, and since she decided not to fully find out the answer... I had to go ahead and read! I'm do glad I did! What an amazing story of the times, the hatred political climate in pre-WWII Germany.. And insight into how people were feeling about Hitler before he was elected and caused ...more
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book well worth the reading. It is a detective story set in Munich during the early years of Hitler's rise to power. It involves the overstretched homicide department with its staff as divided as Germany itself over the rise of the Nazis having to deal with a serial killer as anti Jewish mobs riot and threaten civic disorder. The man tasked with finding the murderer is Alex Berg an officer born in Denmark, famed for his intellect but at the mercy of his own weaknesses.
He has to balance
Anne Marie
When I first started reading this book, I wasn't sure if it was a comedy! But I realized due to the time period (1920's Germany) the police department wasn't up to par as it should have been. Motor cars were just starting to be used and with other powers (Hitler) coming to power the police seemed like they didn't know what it was doing half the time.
There were three things that I could be certain of in this novel: there was no shortage of cigarettes, no shortage of tea, and smells could be horr
Apr 11, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although the plot strains credulity, weighted as it is with Freudian baggage, the atmospherics and the characters are compelling. The events take place in Munich, 1929, and the city is in turmoil. Germany was recovering from the depression, goods were more readily available, the rich were - filthy, and Munich was a gem of a city. 1929 marked the end of Hitler's so-called "Wilderness Years;" the Nazi party had been rebuilt, membership had grown, and the elite, middle-class, and civil servants (in ...more
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel takes place in Munich during the period between Hitler being released from jail after the beer hall putsch and before he becomes chancellor. There is a series of murders of women in the city, and several of the bodies have been found in the Englisher Garten. The novel follows the solving of the crime by a Munich police officer. It offers Kellerman's usual high suspense. It was fascinating to me to learn about the tenor of the times through the novel. Kellerman, although she is Jewish ...more
Darkness indeed. This starts off with an apparently quite unpleasant individual who remains unidentified until the end of the book... and then segues into the days of Hitler's rise. Dark, depressing, even the hero (more or less) is a fairly unsavory character. This is very different from most of the other books I've read by Faye Kellerman, and she remains a captivating author, but this book was thoroughly dark, to my mind. I was a bit surprised by her reference to a Sabbath meal in Berg's househ ...more
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a historical thriller stand alone, outside of the Decker series.

Set in Germany during the rise of Hitler, several women have been killed with their bodies placed in public gardens, appearing to be deliberately displaced, almost artistically.

Berg is tasked with leading the small team of detectives to get to the bottom of this. Is it a serial killer? Is it copycat murders? Unrest in the city and corruption in the police force abound.

Not a fan of historical pieces, this was a hard and long
Rather dark historical fiction based in Germany in 1929 when a number of young women meet their demise unexpectedly. Is it a serial killer? One of the women is Rina's grandmother but that isn't mentioned in this book but the book prior to it. If one is interested in historical fiction set in Europe in the late 1920s you may like this novel.
All said and done, I didn't really like it. It is very violent and crude, ugly and sad. One could reasonably argue that the time and place were all those things as it is set in Munich, Germany in the 1920's as Hitler and the Nazi party were gaining power.
Lewis Weinstein
Faye Kellerman writes a great series of detective stories. This is one of two historical novels she has written, and it is an outstanding portrayal of crime in 1929 Munich, set against the backdrop of Hitler's thugs just a few years away from power.
Mary Sperry
It's tough to like a book when you dislike every single character in it. Just unpleasant people. I vastly prefer her series mysteries.
Yehudit Reishtein
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of murder mysteries and historical fiction
A murdered woman is found in a public park in Munich by a man walking his dogs in the early morning and Alex Berg, the head of the newly formed murder investigation unit of the police is chosen to head the investigation. Learning her identity is easy--a man who lives near the park reports his wife is missing. Learning who killed her is much harder, but one thing becomes clear very quickly--she was one of several women killed by a serial killer. As the deaths add up, the victims seem to have litt ...more
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“ So then this happens! Now, I’m too nervous to walk around anywhere. I’m like an old crazy person, housebound......... sitting in the dark. A living model of what this city has become- from the light of all that was new and fresh heading straight into darkness.”

This standalone historical novel sounded intriguing. It is Munich 1929 and a society wife is found dead in a vast English Garden. Inspector Axel Berg is disturbed by the case and his superiors want a quick resolution. In the background
Vic Lauterbach
Ms. Kellerman clearly did lots of research, but she fails to put it good use in this period novel. It gets off to a good start, but loses its focus as a detective story by the midpoint. None of the characters are appealing, and minor historical errors accumulate until they become annoying. The general picture she paints is Munich in the early '30's not the stated 1929. In a year dominated by the "Freedom Law" referendum on the Young Plan, we get no hint of the complex landscape of Weimar politic ...more
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Kellerman's Decker series this book it totally different and more to real life in Nazi Germany. The story is set in 1920s Munich as Hitler is rising to popularity. A policeman, Axel Berg, has to investigate a brutal slaying of a high society wife who is found dumped in the English Garden. When a second body is found the town erupts into hysterics. Along with the brown shirts causing havoc and the Police wanting the case closed ASAP, even if it's the wrong culprit, Berg has his work ...more
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book by Kellerman that I have read, one of my sisters recommended it to me. I often don't enjoy the same kind of books she reads but this one sounded interesting.

The book is fiction, but could definitely be based on a lot of true things that did happen during this time period in life. It takes place in 1929, in Munich, and before Hitler came into power. A serial killer is on the loose and Detective Axel Berg is feeling the pressure of finding the killer along with the violent
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very dark book. I know the period was a dark time in history, but I have read many books about the Holocaust and this whole period and this book was just about the darkest I’ve ever read. I disliked every single character in the book and there is absolutely nothing that is uplifting in this read. It’s quite a good story and as this is the first time I’ve read anything by this author, I would like to try other books of hers, but I found it heavy going.
Marylou Hobbs
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was somewhat disappointed in the writing style, noting special there, but the plot and characters were just fine. I think that listening to a book brings the author’s way with words more to the forefront, especially when the book is a “page-turner.” I’d never read Faye Kellerman previously, despite her being prolific and a frequent best-seller. I would read her again, but next time in paper format.
First book I have read from this author. Although I am familiar with this time in history, it was still disturbing to read. I did become annoyed with the author and her obvious fascination with all the characters whose names began with "R". It became tiresome.

Berg, on the other-hand, was my favorite character and his death was heroic.
Linda Edquist
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A new avenue for Kellerman's mystery story to go, between the 2 world wars in Germany and Munich under siege on more than one front. Murder, politics, racism combine for a gripping story unlike any she had spun before.
John Dowd
I didn't finish it completely. It was too depressing. I skimmed the last 3rd.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The plot was convoluting, there were high points and excitement, then it was dragged down. Ending was a let down. The story had me interested then it lost me??
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
GREAT book...well written, and great insight into the oft forgotten part of Hitler's power...the Pre-Chancellor days....
May 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent portrait of life in Germany during the inter-war period, in particular, Munich during the early 1920s and the ascendance of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party.
Shirly Pitterman
Very different than her usual books. It is a very good murder mystery that take place in Munich at the time when Hitler was coming to to power.
Jack Alexander
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A serial killer in Germany during Hitler's rise. Wonderfully historic drama with bone chilling scares. A wicked good read.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
How the germans let it happen 2 7 Jul 15, 2014 12:50PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Butcher's Theater
  • Children of Wrath (Willi Kraus, #2)
  • The Constantine Covenant
  • Pavel & I
  • Johnny Swanson
  • A Game of Spies
  • Daddy
  • Shadow and Light (Berlin Trilogy, #2)
  • The Killing of Emma Gross
  • African Adventure
  • The Summer of Long Knives
  • By Royal Command (At the House of the Magician, #2)
  • Second Violin (Inspector Troy, #6)
  • 27
  • The Witch Hunter (Crowner John Mystery #8)
See similar books…
Faye Kellerman was born in St. Louis, Missouri and grew up in Sherman Oaks, California. She earned a BA in mathematics and a doctorate in dentistry at UCLA., and conducted research in oral biology. Kellerman's groundbreaking first novel, THE RITUAL BATH, was published in 1986 to wide critical and commercial acclaim. The winner of the Macavity Award for the Best First Novel from the Mystery Readers ...more
“That is a fart without wind....." in reference to when you can't back up what you say. very funny.” 5 likes
“variation on the words of the famous American president Abraham Lincoln: God must love stupid people because He certainly made a lot of them.” 0 likes
More quotes…