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The Girl from Berlin (Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart, #5)
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The Girl from Berlin

(Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart #5)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  4,064 ratings  ·  609 reviews
An old friend calls Catherine Lockhart and Liam Taggart to his famous Italian restaurant to enlist their help. His aunt is being evicted from her home in the Tuscan hills by a powerful corporation claiming they own the deeds, even though she can produce her own set of deeds to her land. Catherine and Liam’s only clue is a bound handwritten manuscript, entirely in German, a ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 9th 2018 by St. Martin's Press
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Elke Erickson No, but as with other series books, there are little references throughout each of the books that mention occurrences from preceding books.

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Average rating 4.33  · 
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 ·  4,064 ratings  ·  609 reviews

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Start your review of The Girl from Berlin (Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart, #5)
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars, rounded up
I've always enjoyed historical fiction for the ability to learn something while enjoying a good story. Balson’s books combine modern day mysteries with historical fiction.

This book concerns a real estate title issue in Italy. An old woman is being thrown off her property having been told her claim to the land is invalid. The historical story deals with a young Jewish girl in the years leading up to and during WWII. Ada, the young Jewish girl is a gifted violinist. Her tale
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: series, kindle, netgalley
Book 5 in the Catherine Lockhart &Liam Taggert series, The Girl from Berlin takes the pair from Chicago to Tuscany, where they tackle a corporation who wants to oust an elderly woman from her vineyard. As Catherine scrambles to adjust to Italian legalization, she is given a journal written by a German musician that may hold answers to the vineyard 's origins.

Considering that I just finished The Girl They Left Behind, a person might think that I wouldn't want to delve back into another World Wa
Mellie Antoinette
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I received an #earc of this novel from #netgalley in exchange for a fair review.

On the surface, this has everything I would expect to love on parchment - WWII Germany, an orchestral Italy, a beautiful cover, a Sienese vineyard in limbo, barristers in court, mothers living in fear, strong spirits, violin chords, wine 🍷 🍷 🍷. The list could and should go on and on!

Unfortunately, the fire, brimstone and steel that should burn underneath all that passion, turning the paper in my hands into luminous
Martie Nees Record
Aug 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
Do not bother. This historical fiction uses words from present times. Although I am not a fan of Donald Trump, the author makes endless comparisons without using his name--"Let's make Germany great again," etc.
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

We travel from present-day Italy and back to the 1930’s during Hitler’s regime in Germany.

In Nazi Germany, we are introduced to Ada as she masterfully plays her violin solos. In Italy we come across a land dispute that may or may not have Ada Baumgaurten, famous violinist in the Berlin Philharmonic, involved.

The land dispute has Liam and Catherine flying to Italy to the beautiful villa of Senora Vincenzo, aunt of a close friend in Chicago.

Catherine has the task of trying to dispute the fact th
Kristy K
3.5 Stars

I struggled a bit with the alternating story lines at the beginning of the story as it was hard to get invested in either story line. However, once we got to the meat of both stories, I became immersed in them.

Present day Liam Taggart and Cathrine Lockhart are asked to go to Italy to help solve a legal dispute over who owns the vineyards currently occupied by Gabriella: her or VinCo. While there, Gabriella gives Catherine a memoir of a girl from WWII.

Ada, whose memoir we (and Catherin
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC.

Opening with a drive through the beautiful Italian countryside, this book grabbed from the start and had me turning page after page.

Gabi is an old lady, about to be evicted from her Italian vineyard to make room for Vinco, Big Vine.
The land and its villa have been her property for decades and she's not giving up without a fight. Having had no luck with the Italian lawyers, her nephew in the United States hires his friends Catherine and Lia
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This was such a good book! This is book 5 in the Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart series and my first one to read. This book is easily a stand alone. I didn't feel like I was missing anything by not reading the first four books. This book went back and forth between 2017 and the life of Ada Baumgarten and her family during World War II as Jews in Berlin. I found both storylines fascinating. I've read before in a memoir that the legal system in Italy is a little hard to navigate with some lawyer ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
"The Girl from Berlin" is the fifth book in Ronald H. Balson's Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart series. It is a story told in dual times. One takes place in the present day as Liam and Catherine are trying to solve the mystery and help a friend in Italy. The other takes place as the Nazis are consolidating power in Germany and Ada, a young woman, is making her way through the ranks of an orchestra that will take her all over Europe.

The story in this book is fascinating although I was much mor
Pam Jenoff
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Balson has written a number of powerful novels set during the war in recent years and his latest does not disappoint. It juxtaposes a modern tale about a fight to save an elderly woman's home in Tuscany with the story of Ada, a young woman struggling to survive during the war. I loved Ada's story, from her young days in Italy growing close to her friend Kurt to her fateful flight to Italy (and especially the way Ada's story ties together with the modern Italian mystery...)
Dottie Resnick
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a phenomenal book. Story is about a young outstanding Jewish woman violinist and her family in Berlin prior to & during WWII. In addition it tells the story of an old woman in Italy fighting to keep her land with the help of an American lawyer, her investigator husband, several Italian lawyers, a German lawyer and of course the Nazis. Suspenseful, intriguing and a page turner. ...more
Julie Daniels
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? It's a Ronald H Balson book. I knew it had to be amazing just based on that. And it was. I adore Liam Haggard and Catherine Lockhart and I'm always ready to join them on one of their exciting heartwarming adventures. And I hope they have many more of t hem. I love that he has two characters that are always in his books. That you get to explore different time periods and places but you get the familiarity of these two beloved characters. You also don't have to read his books in an ...more
Maureen DeLuca
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm so sad that this is the last book in this series. This was a sold 4 star read for me and I added another for 2 great characters and just a great historical fiction all around! If you enjoy reading historical fictions, pick us this series.... (I can say that book number 4 I wasn't that crazy about, but the others are really good!)

Kate Baxter
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Tania Rentz
4.5/5 Stars
What a great and beautiful story! I was captivated by it and hated to put the book down. There's sleuthing, a murder mystery, historical fiction, courtroom drama, love, sacrifice, struggle, hatred, and redemption. It hit all of my favorite buttons.

The story opens in July, 2017, with a sleazy Italian lawyer working for a German company trying to force an old woman off her land and claiming that the company he works for is the rightful owner of said property. She's furious and calls on
Karen R
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Liam and Catherine are persuaded by an old friend to help his aunt in Italy keep ownership of her home as an unscrupulous and powerful landowner attempts a takeover. They are given an old manuscript to read translated from German as they embark on their flight. Catherine begins to read, captivated from the start.

This is the diary of Ada Baumgarten, a child Jewish prodigy violin player from Berlin who begins her story as Hitler’s power and control is rising. Ada becomes entangled in the politics
The Lit Bitch
I needed little convincing when this one came up for review. The cover is beautiful and it’s set in pre war Italy. It was an easy yes for me.

I didn’t know that this book was part of a series when I agreed, and honestly I don’t think that it mattered too much with this one. Sure there is a backstory between Liam and Catherine, but the heart of the book is the mystery and the historical details of Ada’s plot line.

This book should have been a quick read for me but I confess, I struggled and didn’t
No rating as I didn't get very far into the book, about one-fourth.

The book didn't hold me at all. Its writing style seemed 'pedestrian,' in that it had no rhyme or rhythm to it. Now, the type-setting was also very poor, but I didn't hold that against it. (This was an ARC and I know that happens.) But it wandered and veered and repeated itself. The dialogue was often of the 'let me use dialogue to describe and explain the obvious,' which always read so false to me. Yes, dialogue CAN be used to s
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Yes, Ron's next book is being released this fall and I gladly welcomed Catherine and Liam back into my life:) This time they travel to Siena, Italy to help their friend Tony's aunt avoid being evicted from her wine villa. As always, it was a strong mystery, with Catherine playing the lead role this time. The descriptions of Siena brought back good memories from my vacation there 6 years ago. The story switches between the present day in Siena and the late 1930s and early 1940s in Berlin, Germany ...more
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

This book seemed like a real bait and switch. It's purportedly a PI novel, but the PI stuf is merely a framing device for a rather lame holocaust romance.

Someone is trying to take a winery away from its elderly owner in Italy. Italian lawyers are all corrupt, so the owner recruits an American lawyer, Catherine Lockhart. She and her PI lover, Liam Taggart go to Italy to set things right. The owner gives her a manuscript, detailing the historical romance. Thi
Brooke Nuzie
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ronald Balson can do no wrong in my eyes. Once We Were Brothers will forever be one of my favorites, and while nothing will ever live up to that to me, this gets pretty close. I always love reading about Catherine and Liam’s adventures, and Gabi and Adas story was no different. He does a great job weaving in modern day with a unique Holocaust story. Highly recommend!!
Diane Perry
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. My favorite book I have read this year. An incredible story that will grab your heart. Gabi is in risk of losing her family land. Liam and Catherine fly to Italy to try and help her. They had no idea the adventure that would be before them. This is a must read!
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a relative review in some ways. Relative in that I’ve read Balsom’s Karolina’s Twins and Once We Were Brothers and it’s hard not to hold those past books up as a marker of sorts. I gave high marks to both books, especially the former. So when I went into this book I expected all the excellence I’ve become accustomed to from Balsom. I was sorely disappointed. Would this book get poor marks from me if I didn’t read Balsom before? Yes, but by a pinch at best. The bottom line was that this b ...more
Good Book Fairy
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Girl From Berlin by Ronald H. Balson

The Girl From Berlin kept me glued to the pages with a wonderful dual time period story. Balson again brings back his characters Liam and Catherine, a private investigator and attorney, respectively. Since the authors first book, Once We Brothers, we’ve watched this duo grow together both professionally and personally. I enjoy that common thread through all of the novels.

This book read most like his first, which was my favorite out of them all, with dee
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
After reading Once We Were Brothers and this book, Ronald H. Balson has just become one of my few favorite authors. I'm really regretting not keeping Once We Were Brothers.

This is such an incredible novel I've come across in a while! Mr. Balsom most certainly has done his research. He is so eloquently talented with words where he brings the story alive immediately from the beginning to the end, holding your interest. He is one of the few phenomenal storytellers of our time.

First of all, having
Julie Daniels
Honestly what else could you expect from a Ronald H Balson book besides a 5 star read? No surprise here. I can't recommend his books enough. RTC *thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the eARC for review*

Full review:

What can I say? It's a Ronald H Balson book. I knew it had to be amazing just based on that. And it was. I adore Liam Haggard and Catherine Lockhart and I'm always ready to join them on one of their exciting heartwarming adventures. And I hope they have many more of t hem. I
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Balson skillfully combines the beautiful and touching stories of 2 women, Ada during WWII and Gabi in modern Italy. Their stories are woven together by a manuscript/journal, which we are allowed to read and ultimately understand the connection between present-day Italy and WW II Germany.

The catalyst is the attempt to dispossess the elderly Gabi from her much loved vineyards in Tuscany. An American couple is dispatched by relatives in Chicago to try to help Gabi keep her land. Gabi insists that t
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Karolina's Twins, also by Ronald H. Balson, and it is no surprise that I also loved The Girl From Berlin. This wonderful story, told from the present day and the days leading up to, through and after World War II, has Catherine Lockhart and Liam Taggart working to help the aunt of a friend, who is threatened with eviction from the land she has owned and loved for years, by an evil corporation who claims she doesn't really own it. Although not licensed to practice in Italy, Catherine and ...more
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a big fan of Ronald Balson’s books, I was delighted to get the opportunity to read an advance copy of his latest book, The Girl from Berlin. I thought the plot was very compelling, and it was interesting to read about life in Italy during Mussolini’s rule, in contrast to Hitler’s Germany. I enjoyed the characters who had been in his previous books. I flew through the book wanting to know what happened.

My only criticism of the book is that it seemed ridiculous to me that the characters took a
I was approached by the publisher to review The Girl From Berlin because I reviewed Karolina's Twins, the third volume in the Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart legal thriller series. The Girl From Berlin is #5 in the same series. I received a free copy for review from the publisher via Net Galley.

In most dual period books, I prefer one of the narratives more than the other, but in the Ronald Balson Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart books I've read both continuities feel equally exciting and
Gabi Vincenzo has lived on her family’s vineyard in Tuscany for 70+ years when a sleazy lawyer, representing the corporation which owns the surrounding land, serves an eviction notice. Her nephew, Tony, asks his good friends Liam Taggert and Catherine Lockhart for help, promising them a free trip and lodging. Gabi provides a translated manuscript to read, without explanation. It is the memoir of Ada Baumgarten, a virtuoso Jewish violinist who lived in Berlin while the Nazis rose to power. Most o ...more
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When he’s not writing books, Ron is a practicing attorney with the firm of Stone, Pogrund & Korey in Chicago. He has been a civil litigation attorney for forty-three years. He was an adjunct professor of business law at the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business for twenty-five years and was a frequent lecturer in the federal bar certification course and in trial advocacy seminars.

Other books in the series

Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart (5 books)
  • Once We Were Brothers (Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart, #1)
  • Saving Sophie (Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart, #2)
  • Karolina's Twins (Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart, #3)
  • The Trust (Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart, #4)

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