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Broken Glass

(Nik Pohl #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,353 ratings  ·  106 reviews

One murdered, one missing. Both are almost identical.

Detective Nik Pohl has seen every shade of darkness in his career. Not used to playing by the rules, he finds himself frozen out by his superiors. What’s worse, now he’s being blackmailed by a shadowy businessman into investigating a seemingly crimeless disappearance.

A young woman, Viola, left her home months ago, leaving a letter to her parendisappearance.


Kindle Edition, 251 pages
Published November 1st 2019 by Thomas & Mercer
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  1,353 ratings  ·  106 reviews

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Katie B
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is one of the better mystery thrillers I have read recently and certainly a good choice by me to pick this one up as my Amazon First Reads selection this month. It features an intriguing main character and the story kept me on my toes as it was one thing after another. Action packed for sure.

Detective Nik Pohl does his own thing which doesn't always go over well with his colleagues and bosses on the police force. And of course he has done some not so good things which make him a
Dee Arr
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-novel, noir
Nik Pohl is a detective who has reached such a high level of job burnout that he carries a cyanide capsule to use when he feels it is time to end his life. This doesn’t stop him from descending into the bowels of the city, doing his best to make things right, and using his own violent methods whenever possible. While he originally didn’t wish to become involved in the murder of one woman and the disappearance of another, Nik soon finds himself tangled in an “off the books” investigation. Unfortu ...more
Oct 22, 2019 rated it liked it
A pretty decent mystery thriller. It was October's first reads book choice on Amazon and I'm pleased I picked it. There was enough mystery to keep me guessing and wanting to read more. It was a good enjoyable read and one I would recommend to anyone wanting to chill out with a good book.
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Book Has Two Speeds: Too Fast and Too Slow

Story with plots, subplots, and perhaps mini plots too! Some sections were total distractions, while others were interesting and engaging. Nik Pohl is a renegade CID inspector I wanted to like but found too unbelievable in a story where he should have died multiple times amid a growing body count and violent sections that never ended. Then the quiet slow progress of the storyline, filled with too many details would plod along until the next unrealis
Christi M
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gritty police procedural thriller I picked as my October Amazon First Reads selection. Originally published in German, it has now been translated to English by Fiona Beaton.

Over the last several years I’ve noticed how more and more detective stories involve protagonists that have a dark side they are fighting against. They are jaded, wounded, and restless. Perhaps it is from a childhood trauma or incident or perhaps it is from too many years on the job that have made them a bit we/> ...more
Oct 05, 2019 added it
I didn’t realize this was a translation when I bought it. I thought this book was mundane and had no depth, and I hope that can be attributed to not reading it in its original language. The storyline was interesting, but it read like a low-budget film. The characters were one-dimensional and fitted perfectly into stereotypical molds. I didn’t feel any emotional connection to the main character. He clearly has a past, and I would like to have known more about it to understand him better. I was di ...more
Adrian Lawrence
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book wastes no time on drawn out openings. The prologue had all the intrigue needed to get my interest and then I just couldn't read the rest quickly enough. The beginning reminded me of a film noir detective movie with it's dark and ominous feel, added to by the setting and Pohl's no-nonsense and independent approach to police work. Although you could describe him as a little obnoxious, I liked his character. He's troubled and seemed disillusioned with life but he's an honest and likable r ...more
Debra Scott
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent suspenseful action packed. I hope they translate all of this authors books. I’m a fan from page 1.
Whistlers Mom
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it
In Nik Pohl's Munich, young women are dying and only the new snow is pure.

To a visitor, Munich is an enchanting Olde World city of gorgeous buildings, pristine parks, and friendly locals. But every large city has its seedy parts and Nik Pohl finds them all, deliberately or by accident. And he discovers that sometimes the most horrible crimes are committed in the most unlikely places.

Nik is the classic, on-the-skids cop of modern detective novels, with one exception. We ne
Oct 21, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I like a good mystery, just for light reading. This was my Kindle First book selection for October because I was in the mood for this kind of thing.

I have to say this book was one I could put down. At points, I went a couple of days between picking it up to read. That's pretty telling.

The author does a good job of recapping the story periodically, so the reader doesn't lose the thread. (This relates especially to the paragraph above.) As far as plot goes, it's meh. T
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Lacks glue.

The conundrum raised by this book perplexes me. On the one hand, it’s got essential – if incredibly well trod – elements of crime drama: a disheveled hot mess of a detective, coerced into an off-the-books investigation who quickly becomes entangled in a much more enignmatic embroglio. Conspiracy is afoot! Yes, you’ve read variations of this tale many times before, and you’ve seen dozens of Hollywood and television leading actors attempt to hide their handsome mugs by playing an un
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pamela Scott
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it

I’ve read a few thrillers by this author and had high hopes for Broken Glass. I was not disappointed. I really like Nik as a character; he’s sort of an anti-hero and not what you expect from a detective. He reminds me a lot of Rebus. Nik is flawed which makes him real. I was on his side from the first chapter and felt for him as he sinks deeper and deeper into darkness and discovers the missing person cold case he’s investigating is much more than it seems. I read a lot of crime fiction
Linz Bassett
Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, crime, thriller
Broken Glass was interesting and kept me entertained, but a lot of it felt predictable and cliche. Nik has some serious issues, and it results in him starting the story as a lackluster detective. He's not corrupt, but he does things his way, and I feel like this is typical in detective novels. He eventually gets more interesting as he gets more into the cases. There are quite a few disappearances and crimes that overlap. Some of them were interesting, some of them weren't. About the only unexpec ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this much more than the Baldacci stories I've read recently. This series features a classic sloppy shit of a human being detective, who sort of redeems himself though a dangerous investigation featuring lots of almost believable characters. Set in Munich, a city I barely know, the driving scenes ring true, as do the city locations. Similar to the Michael Connelly books, that attention to detail usually means the mystery is also well constructed. With only a couple of associates, the prot ...more
Barry Fulton
Nov 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
The protagonist, Nik Pohl, is a detective who's being blackmailed to reopen the case of a missing woman. With a career already is shreds, he doesn't hesitate to kill a colleague (in self defense) and singlehandedly dig up a body from a graveyard.

The plot is just short of preposterous--and the writing is awkward at best. (In fairness, that may be because of the translation from the original German.) See below for a sample. I stopped just short of halfway through the book.

"He'd been w
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Broken Glass was a fascinating mystery that didn’t always read smoothly. There are plots and subplots and mini plots all running throughout the book with some parts better written (or perhaps translated?) than others. Overall, it was a book I didn’t want to put down, I just had to know the resolution. Nik is a cop with a litany of issues, on par with Jack Taylor, who finds himself blackmailed into investigating a case, which no one wants disturbed. The deeper he goes, the more secrets, lies, and ...more
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, free-e-book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Martina Kovaříková
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I will be slightly honest here, this books felt slightly weird in the beginning. I mean it felt unreal someone would have that much power to cover so much and buy that many people to do their biddings. Especially hiding really serious crimes, and in Europe. I am not sure how realistic it is, and I do not want to know, but I really hope not.
Overall, the story was good and there were surprises down the road for lot of characters. The conclusions were really surprising for me. One downside? I
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was difficult at first because Nik is so angry all the time, but once I got into it I was motivated to finish. It's a complex thriller but highly satisfying in the end. There are lots of surprises and not everything is tidily connected.

The only negative is that it's totally predictable that the hero gets to take advantage of deep pockets, something most of us can only dream about. But don't let that take away from the storyline or the characters in the book.

I recommend this one i
Ronald Scheese
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Quick, interesting but not compelling crime fiction

Just finished "Broken Glass" by Alexander Hartung, a new author for me as a Kindle First selection.

A crime fiction drama set in Munich Germany features a hard, CID inspector protagonist who gets in over his head working on three disappearance closed cases. The action occurs rapidly, but the narrow, unbelievable escapes and lack of clues to the crimes left me a little ambivalent and not as engaged as in most suspense reads.

I'd give it about 2
Kat, lover of bears...
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
It was interesting to read a crime novel written and based in Münich. The sadly surprising aspect was how similar the struggles of one country can be to our own, and others I’m sure. It was a good story with lots of mystery, intrigue and suspense. The ending is tidy but if you want more, there are other books in the series. Straight crime novels are not my regular genre so maybe in the future I will revisit the series. I definitely recommend it to any crime fiction lovers.
Susan Aubrey
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant thriller

I have only recently got into this genre. I’ve read some excellent thrillers but this is one of the best.

It kept me guessing all along and had some great twists and turns. It was also humorous in places.

It is well translated - I think as I don’t speak German.

This story would make a great film.

I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Tony da Napoli
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
2 stars is the best I can do. I stayed with it hoping for a change in style but it didn't happen. Nik gets a plan, tries it, gets caught. Nik gets a plan, tries it, gets caught. Nik gets a plan, tries it, gets caught. Nik gets a plan, tries it, gets caught. Nik gets a plan, tries it, gets caught. See a pattern here?
I think the character has possibilities and I commend the author for effort. The translation was fine. also the plot framework was good. Just the repeated hence predictable meth
Amanda Zeller
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Not bad

A fairly unlikeable protagonist plus a slow start did not bode well, but after a bit the pace picked up and I read it straight through to the end. The story was interesting, with enough twists and turns, but as another reviewer noted, the pace was at times too fast and at others too slow. Some of the writing wasn’t great, but for a rainy Saturday afternoon it was decent entertainment.
Rebecca Bates
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great read and well translated

At first I didn't even realise it was translated and then I read about it being set in Germany. Its.written as I imagine the original author to have written it had it been written in English. It just flows so well.
The characters are plausible and the plotline quick paced. All in all a great read.and finished in only a handful of nights.
Linda Morey
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Mystery -Nik was down on his luck CID and as he was looking into a disappearance, he found similar cases and realized there had been cover ups . Lots of getting out of jams with good old fashioned ingenuity. Others helped with more modern methods like hacking . The setting wasn’t for me so probably won’t read more as it seems to be a series
Glady Graham
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Too depressing.

Main character is so filled with anger and hate that it makes it difficult to like him. Just another rogue cop who flaunts the rules. He really seems to enjoy inflicting pain on himself as well as others. Had to put it down about 1/3 of the way thru. Kept looking for some redeeming qualities in Nik Pohl but found none.
Janice Hamby
Oct 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Not My Style

Interesting enough to keep me reading in order to find out what happened, but I think this end of the detective genre spectrum isn't for me. It was more old school tough guy, less modern psychological criminalist. I was more intrigued by the secondary character Jon, than the protagonist Nik.
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lots of surprise s

Not an on the edge of the seat, can't out down type of story. However, the story stuck with you and it was nice to read it over several nights. Lots of unexpected twists and not who I expected to be friend and villain. Even the last few sentences were a !what?!!!! Definitely recommend.
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English Translati...: Alexander Hartung - Broken Glass - Germany 1 4 Oct 02, 2019 06:20PM  

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Alexander Hartung lives in his hometown of Mannheim, Germany, with his wife and young son. He discovered his love of thrillers while studying economics. Until the Debt is Paid follows hard-partying detective Jan Tommen through Berlin, a city the author previously called home.

Other books in the series

Nik Pohl (2 books)
  • Vom gleichen Blut (Ein Nik-Pohl-Thriller 2)
“It wasn’t as if he’d be able to sleep, so he may as well grab a couple of beers and catch a bit of the Premier League.” 0 likes
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