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

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  1,795 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
In 1920s Munich, homicide detective Axel Berg is called to the scene of a grisly homicide, the victim being a young and pretty 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. Adolph Hitler's power is growing, and ...more
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published 2005 by Headline
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Straight Into Darkness, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Straight Into Darkness

Zoo Station by David DowningThe Good German by Joseph KanonThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréBerlin Noir by Philip KerrThe Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood
Berlin in Fiction
106 books — 32 voters
Stasiland by Anna FunderA Woman in Berlin by AnonymousThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréEvery Man Dies Alone by Hans FalladaFatherland by Robert   Harris
298 books — 162 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 06, 2011 Anna 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 Ruthiella rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2017
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
Jul 04, 2010 Jerry 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 Sharyn 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 Cara St.Germain 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
Apr 11, 2008 Richard 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
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.
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
May 25, 2017 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That was not the ending I was expecting..
And if this book so descriptive at times.. I would have given 5 stars.
But to much description annoyed me a little..
other than that.. Great book!!!
Christine Garver
Part horrific, but mostly interesting. Unfortunately, they didn't get the absolute worst idiot.
I have read a lot of Faye Kellerman. I like the Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus books, but this Straight into Darkness is quite different. A mature thriller which teaches you a part of a less known part of history: the prelude to the Hollocaust. Impressive, realistic, moving.
Diane Hropic
Mar 17, 2017 Diane Hropic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Engaging murder mystery set between the war years in Germany. Explores the political and social issues of the time.
Cait Monster
Yikes. Umm it was a good murder mystery, the ending was a little bit neat and tied up but I can't imagine this ending any other way. The epilogue, it's not labeled as such but that's what it feels like, was so off tone from the rest of the book. Strange book.
Jan 01, 2009 Vivienne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Susan Isaacs and Ken Follet readers
Story of an average citizen in 1929 Munich, with a 2005 prologue and epilogue written from the viewpoint of the citizen's son. I have a love/hate relationship with books set during this time. So much tension and tragedy with opportunity for the good and bad elements of the individual to shine through makes for great reads but I'm usually left with a "how can people be so vile" hang over that lasts for days.

Straight into Darkness reads like a mystery, not a WWI/WWII novel. I did not suffer from t
Sep 16, 2013 Johannes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: krimi-romans, 10
Kellerman geht hier einen ganz neuen Weg. Die hier erzählte Geschichte findet nicht in Los Angeles statt, sondern in München, Anfang der dreißiger Jahre. Nur ganz nebenbei hat dieser Kriminalfall dann doch noch mit Rina Lazarus zu tun, da es um die Ermordung ihres Großmutters geht.
Im nächsten Buch wird darauf Bezug genommen. Es ist aber nicht so, dass man dazu unbedingt dieses Buch gelesen haben muss.

Die Erzählweise ist ganz anders, wie in ihren anderen Bücher. Laufen die Romane über das Duo Laz
3.5 stars

It is the 1920s in Germany. Hitler is becoming more popular, and Jews and other minorities are becoming targets of violence. Axel Berg is a detective with the Munich police force, but police are not always respected, either. Women are being murdered and Axel is trying to find out who did it, despite, at least in the case of the first murder, his boss wanting him to just pin it on the woman's husband (who is Jewish). Even if they are wrong, it doesn't matter because it looks like they ar
Jan 13, 2011 Laurel-Rain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1920s Munich, Faye Kellerman’s backdrop for this murder mystery is a war-torn city steeped in political unrest. As a barbaric butcher stalks the city, hate-mongers abound, ready to point fingers at any suspect in order to solve the crime and settle the unrest.

But Axel Berg is persistent in attempting to solve the crimes, and not just to close his case; he relentlessly pursues this goal, despite the obstacles he encounters along the way. Beautiful women are murdered and dumped in close proximi
Benjamin Solah
Mar 22, 2009 Benjamin Solah rated it really liked it
Straight into darkness, is a mysterious crime thriller set in 1920s Munich, where Hitler is slowly growing to power. Inspektor Axel Berg must deal a disturbing case in the midst of this hot political climate. With an engaging premise, Faye Kellerman is able to hook you into a mystery with an ending not seen until the final pages.

I really liked this book. Kellerman sets the scene very well and it drew me in as the story went on. There was no way I could work out who the killer was, but it all mad
Ain Daud
Jan 29, 2016 Ain Daud rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one is simply breath-taking, I felt like i was in that place witnessing everything, or maybe i imagined myself as Axel Berg :P it's like im in that place understanding what actually is happening, i got to know more about what actually the Nazis wanted, how oppressed were the jews. It was wrong to be right, and it was certainly right to be wrong. I suppose the jews need to read this, and ask themselves why are they repeating the same thing they had to gone through back then, why do some ethn ...more
Sep 01, 2008 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was skeptical to begin with as I was used to Faye Kellerman s a psychological thriller/whodunit type of author. I knew she is of Jewish faith and descent and was a child of the Holocaust. I am of Jewish descent myself but my direct family experience does not include the Hitler experience. At any rate, I was skeptical of the subject matter due to my own family experience and the massive amount of anecdotal literature out there on the subject.
That being said, I was enthralled by the setting in
Aug 27, 2013 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book which is not a typical Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus story. I love Faye Kellerman's regular detective mysteries but this one was different in that it (primarily) takes place in Germany in the years leading up to the election of Hitler as chancellor. A series of murders of beautiful women takes place in Munich but homicide detectives are continuously hindered in their investigation by ongoing politic rallies, riots, corruption and suspicions within the police ranks, and the ...more
Rogue Reader
Jun 13, 2016 Rogue Reader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-germany
I enjoyed the book, but reading it now as the 2016 elections ramp and Donald Trump is emerging as the Republican nominee - I'm frightened at the parallels with 1920s Germany. Kellerman frames Hitler's rise in Munich so clearly and so subtly. The naysayers, the intelligensia, the minorities, the gays - a reasoning being cannot possibly consider Hitler's passionate, manic rantings seriously. But the darkness comes so slowly, violence builds, conscious and unconscious bigotry becomes rampant. Hitle ...more
Bridget Cabibi-Wilkin
Feb 03, 2011 Bridget Cabibi-Wilkin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bridget by: found on the shelf
Very good combo of a detective murder mystery and a tale of pre-Holocaust Germany. It's a different look into Germany and Germans than many of those that we've already heard before. The solution was a mystery until the very end - she's a great mystery writer for this reason, although some of the writing did seem a little stiff. I didn't find it "amazing" because there were no strong female characters like Rina in her earliest Lazarus/Decker novels. Well - the women WERE strong, just not main foc ...more
Tess Mertens-Johnson
Axel Berg is a detective in Munich in the 193os in the pre-Hitler era. As the communist party is coming to power, three women are murdered and Axel is the lead detective.
This book deals with cultural, religious and social issues of the upper middle class of Munich. The book was very descriptive of the area and atmosphere of the time. Axel’s investigation takes the reader through all financial sects of the time.
Very interesting. A page turned with s HUGE twist at the end.
Love this mystery
Jan 23, 2008 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well...this was an interesting book. The author is Jewish and uses her personal family history for part of the book. The story takes place in Munich as Hitler is rising to power and the Jewish persecution begins. Given the subject matter and time in history this book is very gloomy and sad. Definitely not a book to read at night before going to sleep. The author did an excellent job of transporting the reader to the time and story. The characters are well developed and the ending is intricate an ...more
Nov 09, 2013 Cat. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I ended up not reading this. When I looked over the blurb, I realized it is a new series (?), or anyway new characters, set in 1920s Munich and incorporating Hitler's rise to national leadership. Not interested. At all. It's a time period that gives me nightmares with the realities; I don't want to read about fictional serial killers.

Having said that, I'm sure it's well-written. That's one of the reasons I like Kellerman: she rarely over-writes, she keeps the suspense level appropriate without g
Mar 24, 2009 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite all time books! I want to read it again soon. It had me hooked from the beginning. It is set in WWII time Germany, about a police officer. I love the lead guy even though he is kind of a pig in the way of his marriage. It has a lot of things about the war, but the main theme is about a serial killer, whom the detective is trying to find. This is definately in my top five. I usually have a hard time reading Faye Kellerman books, but this is in a whole new league. She re ...more
Donna Mcnab
Sep 17, 2011 Donna Mcnab rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book disturbing to read. A serial killer is at work in Munich against the background of Germany between the two world wars. Homicide detective Axel Berg, tries to investiage the murders at a time when there is much hatred against the Jewish population and Hitler is becoming popular. The book is, of course, well written and obviously well researched. It lands the reader in the middle of this troublsome time in Germany, which was definitely a difficult place to live and even to read a ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
How the germans let it happen 2 7 Jul 15, 2014 12:50PM  
  • The Butcher's Theater
  • The Constantine Covenant
  • Pavel & I
  • A Gathering of Spies
  • Children of Wrath (Willi Kraus, #2)
  • Johnny Swanson
  • 27
  • Shadow and Light (Berlin Trilogy, #2)
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
More about Faye Kellerman...

Share This Book

“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…