George V. Reilly

Review: The Good German

The Good German
Title: The Good German
Author: Joseph Kanon
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Picador
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 482
Keywords: historical fiction, spy, WWII
Reading period: 7 March–April 4, 2015

Jake Geismar is an American war cor­re­spon­dent who lived in Berlin before the war. He returns there in July 1945, ostensibly to cover the Potsdam Conference, but actually to find his lover, Lena. Before he finds Lena, he finds the body of a murdered American officer at Potsdam, which—s­trange­ly—no-one is interested in. Then he gets caught up in the race between the Americans and the Russians to take possession of Lena’s estranged husband, a rocket scientist.

The war is barely over but already the Russians and Americans are squaring off for the Cold War, as they squabble over the spoils of a shattered Germany. Moral am­bi­gu­i­ties abound.

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