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A CITY OF BROKEN GLASS by Rebecca Cantrell

A CITY OF BROKEN GLASS

By Rebecca Cantrell

Pub Date: July 17th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2734-5
Publisher: Forge

At the height of the Nazi terror, an American journalist risks all to save one little girl.

Hannah Vogel turns her coverage of Poland's Saint Martin's Day into a holiday by bringing her 13-year-old son Anton along. She travels under the name Adelheid Zinsli, sporting a shaky Swiss accent in order to fly under the Nazi radar. (The infamous Kristallnacht will make headlines in less than a fortnight.) Some extensive backstory fills the reader in on Hannah's previous German adventures, dangerous close calls and lost loves (A Game of Lies, 2011, etc.). Anton is actually her adopted son, his mother, a drug-addicted prostitute, killed in a previous installment. Talk at a rural farm soon turns to the escalation of Nazi Party offenses. A local soldier almost ferrets out Hannah's deception, a danger exacerbated when she spots her old friend Paul's wife, Miriam Keller, who's not exactly fond of her. More close calls follow, some triggered by Fräulein Ivona, a suspicious anti-Semite. Another surprise is the reappearance of former lover Lars Lang, whom Hannah thought had been killed. His knowledge and authority prove invaluable when Hannah falls into the hands of SS agents, who take her from Poland to Germany. Lars, Hannah and the increasingly curious Anton must carefully choose the moment for their escape. In the meantime, however, Hannah gets emotionally ensnared when Paul's young daughter Ruth goes missing along with Miriam, and Hannah knows what she must do.

With more cliffhangers than a daytime drama, Hannah's fourth adventure strains credibility and becomes repetitive, but is redeemed by an elegantly breathless style and a convincing portrait of 1938 Germany.