FICTION

The Girl from Berlin

St. Martin's. Oct. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9781250195241. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250195265. F
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Catherine Lockhart and Liam Taggert, the wife/husband, attorney/private investigator team from Balson's previous novels (Karolina's Twins; Once We Were Brothers), are asked by a friend to help his octogenarian Aunt Gabi retain control of her house and property in Italy. As with the previous titles, there is a World War II Holocaust backstory, this time involving Jewish child prodigy violinist Ada Baumgarten and her family's persecution by the Nazis in 1930s Berlin. The present-day narrative revolves around the supposedly ineffective (i.e., not in the chain of title ownership) deed that Gabi holds to the property where she's lived her entire life. Catherine smells a rat after meeting with Gabi's Italian lawyers, who appear to have been paid for less-than-careful research, and vows to get to the bottom of the dispute and prove Gabi's rights to the land.
VERDICT Balson's many fans will thoroughly enjoy this new addition to the series, which continues the earlier novels' dynamic plotting, compelling characters, and back-and-forth between-eras action. Newcomers will find the portrayal of the plight of the Jews of Central Europe leading up to and during World War II an unvarnished testament to the ugly truth.

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