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Der Angstmann

(Max Heller, Dresden Detective #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  4,039 ratings  ·  387 reviews
Dresden, November 1944: Die Bevölkerung leidet unter den anhaltenden Kriegszuständen und den täglichen Entbehrungen. Flüchtlingsströme drängen in die Stadt. Bombenalarme gehören zum Alltag. Da wird Kriminalinspektor Max Heller zu einer grausam zugerichteten Frauenleiche geholt. Schnell geht das Gerücht um: Das war der Angstmann, der nachts durch die Ruinen schleicht. Helle ...more
Audiobook, 10 pages
Published October 10th 2016 by Der Audio Verlag (first published September 23rd 2016)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  4,039 ratings  ·  387 reviews


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Fred Shaw
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An engrossing novel of a psychopath who goes berserk in Dresden, Germany, during the final days of WW II. German detective inspector Max Heller of the Dresden police, begins the search for the killer when the Allies start their bombing of German cities. As bombs fall, the killer uses the air raids to take his victims and inflict despicable torture, leaving them barely alive. John Sanford fans would be surprised at some of the hideous injuries he doles out. The search for the killer continues as ...more
G.J.
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2
3.5* First off I did not realise this was originally published in German, I would have bought it in German and probably would have enjoyed it more. I found myself getting irritated at rather odd turns of phrase and errors in English. Whilst I quite liked the story and protagonist, a Detective in war time Germany, investigating a series of brutal murders carried out against women. I wondered however, if it there was not a conflict going on between two different stories trying to establish the lea ...more
Cari
The Air Raid Killer was my Kindle First selection for the month of April 2018.

What an awesome mashup of crime/suspense and historical fiction! Taking place in the city of Dresden towards the end of World War II, the impending defeat of the Third Reich created a sense of urgency and chaos that really set the stage for murder and mayhem. As Russian boots marched deeper into the Rhineland, the Nazi party clung desperately to their control and power over the German people and continued their mass g
...more
Susan Kennedy
3 1/2 Stars

I had gotten about a quarter way through the book and I just wasn't sure I was going to like it. It was about a sick serial killer and the German (non-natzi) police officer who was trying to find him. Since it wasn't horrible, I kept reading.

It was definitely hard on him being in a German city full of Germans who has sworn their allegiance to Hiltler. He was one of the few that hadn't. This all happened near the end of the war. The killer would take his victims during the air raid war
...more
Leslie
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book you cannot put down. Set in Dresden Germany in the waning days of WW2, Max Heller is a WWI veteran, police detective and non political. He is married he has two sons who are serving in the Army, a wife and a small apartment. He also has a brutal killer, The Fright Man, who is mutilating women and leaving their bodies displayed. He has to over come incompetent colleagues, political forces, shortages and ever changing priorities to try to solve the crime. Every time there is an air ...more
Gisela Hafezparast
I received the first two books for Christmas in German and I admit, I am a cover snob and the cover of the German edition is awful. Coupled with the fact that I am not really partial to historical novels and especially the Nazi time including I was reluctant to give this a go. However, are in an epidemic, Amazon is clearly increasing their prices so I don't want to give them more than I have to, the library is closed and I needed variety, so I read the first one IN ONE DAY. I have only once been ...more
KayKay
"The Air Raid Killer" was a mixed bag to me. The mystery about the air raid killer, named by the local German as the fright man, was the beginning of the search of the murderer of few brutal crimes. Something more insane and sinister was waiting for Detective Max Heller to uncover. The mystery plot was alright for the most part. There were some twists and turns but they hardly created any climaxes. To simply put, the mystery part was only satisfactory, nothing wow.

But the author's detail descrip
...more
Marjorie
“People say it’s all haunted here. Things reside in the ruins. I don’t believe in the dear Lord anymore, but in a place where so many have died? Something will always linger on.”

Probably one of the darkest crime novels I’ve read in a long time. Translated from the German, this book is a historical glimpse into the last days of the Third Reich. Max Heller is a detective on the police force, and while he is seeking to pin down a serial killer, the chaotic backdrop of Dresden under seige makes the
...more
Trish R.
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
1 1/2

I’ll admit I went from 52% all the way to the end of the book just to find out who the killer was. This story was depressing and disgusting and sad all at the same time. AND how anyone could call this “riveting” or “brilliant” or “captivating” is beyond me. I did not know when I chose this book that I would spend so much time reading about people starving or how emaciated they were or how they were starving to death or the constant bombings that went on or how cruel the Germans were to eve
...more
Lysergius
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
A crime novel set against the backdrop of Dresden pre and post 13th February 1945. The search for a serial killer hots up among the ruins of the city. A great read, keep me going to the last page.
Michael
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-first
This is an historical crime thriller set in Dresden, Germany in the weeks leading up to the infamous firebombing that destroyed the city in February of 1945. On a recent trip to Germany I got a chance to visit Dresden and explore the now rebuilt and restored city and so I was intrigued by the premise of this book.

The book is structured chronologically and opens in November, 1944 when the mutilated body of a young woman is found. Police detective Max Heller is assigned the case. At this time, mo
...more
Eric_W
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dresden is overrun with refugees from the East. The Russians are just over the horizon and a killer who flays his victims is on the loose. People are beginning to panic and they have no idea about the hellfire that will soon rain down upon them.

Max Heller is a detective inspector trying to discover the identity of the "Fright Man" who has assumed mythic and demonic proportions in the minds of the frightened citizens. In the meantime he has to struggle with superiors still enamored of Nazi ideolo
...more
Puzzle Doctor
Interesting picture of life in Dresden but the mystery is slight and needed more focus. Full review at classicmystery.wordpress.com
The Irregular Reader
Dresden, 1945, is a city on the edge. The Third Reich is in its (well deserved) death spiral, the Russians are encroaching to the east as American forces push through from the west, air raids are constant, and wartime rationing and an influx of refugees have left the city on the brink of starvation. Amidst all this chaos, a brutal killer stalks the streets. Max Heller is a Detective Inspector with the Dresden police, a man seeking justice in a country descended into paranoia and chaos. As the bo ...more
BARBARA  D  HILL
At best this book can only really be described as "muddled".
The translation from the original German text to English means some of the terminology used doesn't always make a lot of sense along with some of the grammar being a little confusing.
I wasn't sure if this was a book about a detective and his investigation into a sadistic serial killer or whether it was a lesson in history about the last few months of the second world war in Dresden, Germany.....hence my description as muddled.
I only rea
...more
Bob
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Both stunning and harrowing. While the murder story aspect of mutilated women is painfully detailed, the vivid experience of living through the Allied bombing of Dresden and its aftermath, seen from the viewpoint of Keller, the determined, righteous detective is even grimmer and more disturbing. One extended sequence of going through an actual air raid is particularly well drawn and unforgettable.

A really great read on many levels and one of my best reads of the year.
Daenerys
A surprisingly good book courtesy of Amazon's kindle first selection from a few months back. I started it on a long train journey and was 50% in by the time I got back home. Very easily readable, it will I think be particularly memorable due to its setting, which is an unusual one for a crime novel.

The Air Raid Killer (or more appropriately The Fright Man in German) takes place in Dresden during the final throes of the German Reich in late 1944 and early 1945 and features a cautiously anti-N
...more
Pamela
In the final days of World War II, Detective Inspector Max Heller and his wife Karin are barely hanging on. Since he never joined the Nazi party or the Gestapo or SS, the only thing keeping him from the eastern front is his status as a wounded Vet from the Great War. Right now he is practically the only regular police officer left in Dresden and while there isn't much policing going on, he's just been called in to view the terribly mutilated body of a woman found hanging a garage. The two boys w ...more
Ben
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a Find!

Thanks to Amazon for bringing this book out in English. "

The Air Raid Killer " was nearly a non-stop reading experience for me: the plot was totally exciting and immersive.
Yes, it is another serial killer book, but it is the scene of the horrid crimes that makes the difference. That and the character of the hero Max Heller, Detective of the Dresden Criminal police.
That is Dresden, Germany, of May, 1945.
The Russians are nearing the city. The civilian population lives in fear of "Iv
...more
Joe Stamber
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable historical mystery/thriller that reminded me somewhat of the John Russell books by David Downing. The Air Raid Killer was translated from the German original, although the job was done well enough that I couldn't tell. Detective Max Heller is hunting for a particularly nasty killer who finds his victims during the well-known air raids that targeted Dresden towards the end of the Second World War. Max's sons are fighting on distant fronts and he and his wife are desperate for news th ...more
Hannah
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Max Heller is a detective in Dresden in 1944. And yes, it's a bad time to be in Dresden, but Max doesn't know that yet. He's on the trail of a killer who is kidnapping women, torturing and murdering them. And it's pretty horrific.

The book was really good. It was a combination of historical fiction and mystery. I really enjoyed learning about Dresden and how it was going. The writer was brutally honest about the situation. The Nazis were unmerciful, the Soviets were unforgiving, and the murders w
...more
Mike Farrell
Nice premise, but the story drags in places

I couldn't resist a story built around a normal police detective trying to do his job in WW II Dresden, were everything is over shadowed by the Nazi political agenda.

In November 1944 Max Heller, a homicide detective, is assigned a murder case where a young woman's body is found strung up in a boat house near the Elbe river. She has been tortured and sliced open, but has not been sexually assaulted. This occurs during an allied air raid while most of the
...more
Amanda
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty interesting! We always have detectives that are 100% unstoppable and obsessed with cases, this one was so obsessed that he was hunting the killer even when he was starved and burned. I didn’t actually enjoy reading it because it was so graphic and I couldn’t understand why he’d leave Karin like that. It was interesting reading a book during 1944 that takes place in Germany from a German POV. 3.5 founded up, the subject matter wants my favorite but the story and writing was good! Also grea ...more
David Lowther
The Air Raid Killer is a translation of a German novel set in Dresden at the time of the air raid horrors of 1945.

The descriptions of the bombing and the firestorm that followed are as good as I've read of blitz terrors. The chief character Max Heller is very interestingly sketched and it will be fascinating to see how he copes with the post-war challenges in the next in the series which I've already bought. I was less convinced by the plot which was about a serial killer at loose during the rai
...more
Heather Button
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dang. This had me thinking one thing for quite a while and then threw me for a loop completely. Such an interesting read about a sadistic killer who strikes only when the air raid sirens ring out at the end of WWII in Germany. Max Heller reminds me a lot of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon - unassuming, intelligent, unlikely, persistent and quiet hero.
Jim
A good story set in Dresden in the closing days of WWII and the time immediately after the war. Characters you care about Lots of twists and turn, perhaps a few too many.
Laura St.
The Air Raid Killer

The mystery takes place against the backdrop of Dresden in the final days of WWII. It is a little slow to start, but the rich historical detail keeps the reader going. More than a mystery, this is a look into the thoughts, actions and beliefs of the average German, who was also a victim of Hitler and then of the hatred of the Soviets. It is important to see the German people in this light and from their own perspective, because, as Westerners, we always see the war from the ex
...more
Linda
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an Amazon First book. It was the first on this list in several months that I immediately chose it and was excited to read. It was well written and captured my attention immediately. But it really did drag in a few spots. I know that Germany suffered during the last days of the war, but the bombing scene seemed to drag on forever. It was full of action and tension, but frankly I just wanted the story to continue.
Goldammer did an excellent job of portraying the horrors of war suffered by
...more
Juliana
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fast-paced novel about serial murders in Dresden, Germany in the final months of WWII. The author skillfully described both life and death in the waning days of the Third Reich, while also managing to add to the horror as detective Max Keller attempts to solve a series of gruesome murders that no one really seems to want solved. Mr. Goldammer's description of Dresden on fire will remain with me for a long time. Great ending wrapped up a great book.
ochichi
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Air Raid Killer

Solid mystery, kept me guessing who was the killer?
I have a feeling I will enjoy Max Heller as the Dresden Detective
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Frank Goldammer wurde 1975 in Dresden geboren, machte aus Faulheit kein Abitur und bereute es sofort, als er sich stattdessen zum Maler und Lackierer ausbilden ließ. Mit Anfang 20 begann er zu schreiben, heiratete zwischendurch, ließ sich scheiden und wurde ein Meister in seinem Beruf. Außerdem hat er drei Kinder mit zwei verschiedenen Frauen. Kümmert er sich nicht gerade um seine Sippe, dann schr ...more

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Max Heller, Dresden Detective (5 books)
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