The Wolf Children by Cay Rademacher Review

15 March 2017

When the press release for The Wolf Children* landed in my inbox I wasn't sure about it. It's pretty different from my usual read. However, I was drawn in and intrigued by the synopsis so I decided to give it a go and read something new and I am so glad I did. I was a bit worried I would find all the history too much but I really enjoyed it.

The Wolf Children by Cay Rademacher Review

"Hamburg 1947: It is the year of extremes

After a bitterly cold winter of starvation, the bombed city groans under excruciating heat. Chief Inspector Frank Stave is confronted with a new case, the body of a young boy, in the ruins of Hamburg's shipyard.

As Stave, and Lieutenant James Macdonald, a liason officer seconded by the British military occupying the city, begin their investigation, they encounter the hordes of 'wolf children living in Hamburg. Orphaned during the war , and having fled the Occupied Eastern Territories, the wolf children have united in gangs and pervade the Hamburg black market.

When two further bodies are discovered, Stave is under ever increasing pressure as he struggles to keep his personal life together too..."



The Wolf Children by Cay Rademacher Review

Written by Cay Rademacher and translated from German by Peter Millar. 
Published by Arcadia Books

I know this is still crime fiction which is pretty much all I read but the thing that makes it different to my usual is the History component. The Wolf Children is set in post war Germany (Hamburg 1947) and is the second book in the Inspector Frank Stave series following The Murder in Ruins. However, you don't need to have read the first one. I haven't and it still all makes sense. The second book does explain what happened to Staves son which he is trying to find out in the first book so bear that in mind.

I really enjoyed this book. I loved learning about the history as well as being kept guessing about the murder. At school you learn about the war and the effect it had on the UK afterwards but this goes into detail about how damn hard it was for the Germans. I obviously studied the war for my History GCSE but I have never really thought about the aftermath. I love how descriptive Cay is. He really paints a picture of what it was like and sets the scene. He creates such an intense atmosphere.

The storyline kept me gripped and I spent most of the book trying to guess who it was. I loved the Chemistry between Frank Stave and his British colleague, Lieutenant James Macdonald. Running an investigation with limited resources as well as the added stress of working with the British and locals without stepping on anyones toes makes the investigation more tense. I also loved reading about Staves personal life as it made his character more likeable. There are some amazing characters in this book and I definitely want to read the first book now to learn more about Stave and what he's been through.

This is definitely different to my usual book choices but I'm glad I gave it a go because I really enjoyed it. If you want some history with your murder I definitely recommend this one.

Beth...x

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