Broken Glass

Broken GlassOne 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 DisappearanceA Young Woman, Viola, Left Her Home Months Ago, Leaving A Letter To Her Parents Saying She Wouldn T Be Coming Back With A Little Digging Nik Discovers The Case Of An Almost Identical Looking Woman, Who Went Missing In Similar Circumstances There S One Important Difference That Woman Is Dead Viola May Still Be Alive But Perhaps Not For Much LongerWhen Nik Is Viciously Attacked, It Becomes Clear That Whoever Is Behind Viola S Disappearance Has Some High Level Connections, And They Will Stop At Nothing To Shut Him Down But He S In Too Deep And The Clock Is Ticking He Has To Find Viola, And Her Captors, Before It S Too Late From Million Copy Bestselling German Author Alexander Hartung 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 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 target for blackmail A man named Jon knows Nik s weak spots and uses it against him so Nik will look into the cold case of a missing woman named Viola As Nik investigates what happened to Viola it appears there might be a link between her case and the death of another young woman The he digs for the truth, the it becomes obvious someone powerful wants Nik off the case He better watch his back as his life is now at stake.I love that Nik was a flawed character instead of a completely straight laced detective That s what made him interesting as he was a bit of a wildcard in that I never completely knew what lines he would be willing to cross I m excited that this is the first book in a series because I think there is a lot for the author to explore in regards to Nik.It seems like such a cliche to say but there were things in this story I didn t see coming which made it a fun read I read so many books in this genre that it s not very often I m caught off guard at a plot twist Very early on in the story I was hooked as the author certainly doesn t wait until the ending to drop some surprises.My only small criticism is there was one thing in regards to the story that had me side eyeing it a bit By no means did it ruin the book but it was of a case of questioning whether something was likely to happen in that manner Maybe for some readers there are other parts of the story that don t seem super realistic, but for me it was really only one tiny aspect of the plot I think the author really set the stage for a promising new series Will definitely have to check out future books as this was definitely an enjoyable read. 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 Unfortunately, there are people who don t want the truth uncovered, and Nik finds he must put his life on the line to solve the case.Author Alexander Hartung has added a touch of noir to his mystery story, adding a darkness that helps the overall mood The tale proceeds logically and carries a sense of realism Translations from another language can sometimes be an issue, though Fiona Beaton s work made it appear as if the story had originally been written in English.Overall, a good effort While most of the characters are one dimensional, the story teller is Nik, and we are given a running commentary of everything through his eyes The hardboiled detective fits this novel well, and it was an enjoyable read Four stars. A gritty police procedural thriller I picked as my October First Reads selection Originally published in German, it has now been translated to English by Fiona Beaton.Thoughts Over the last several years I ve noticed how and 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 weathered in how they think, react, and deal or don t deal with emotional pain In Broken Glass, Nik Pohl is no exception He is literally on his last chance as a Munich CID detective He s got an unkempt appearance that almost screams how little he cares about life at the moment and how little control he feels he has In fact, he carries a cyanide pill with him for that moment when it all becomes a bit too much for him But even though he is completely burned out and probably in need of a very long vacation the one thing he does have truly going for him is his tenaciousness in investigating mysteries and crimes So when Nik is blackmailed into investigating the disappearance of Viola Rohe, he does the only thing he knows how to do he digs in.I found the story to be a good first start to a new series Nik clearly has issues, but as I read the book I sensed how the author was very slowly trying to shape and navigate Nik into the world of the living to where he cares about life again There is quite a bit of growth and potential in Nik and in the series I m still working through my own thoughts on the supporting characters I m not sure how plausible I found some of them and their circumstances, but I didn t dislike them My favorite support character has to be Balthasar von den Auenfelden He s what I would call a scene stealer in the book I found him half crazy, half funny, and enjoyed every scene when he was in the picture.Overall, if you re like me and trying to decide which book to select in the First Reads, I d give this one a chance It does have some gritty dark moments so if you re looking for a light and fluffy mystery thriller it s probably not your best option However, I also have read other books that are far grittier and darker than this one Books that were too dark for me to read and I had to put down This is not that type of book, so I guess you can say it is on the lighter side of dark.Rating 4 stars Book Has Two Speeds Too Fast and Too SlowStory 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 unrealistic violent episode The complex story of a rough and tumble lead character almost seemed a dark comedy with the all powerful overlords controlling everything but somehow being too incompetent too deal effectively with the out of control hero.Some parts of the story were written well, while other parts seemed duct taped together in a disorganized mess Distracting too was the mix of German and British slang of the generally good translation, where I felt the underlying meaning and context of the author got lost along the way The book s start was dark, convoluted, and confusing, which made me almost stop However, about halfway through the book things became clearer, but unfortunately also got too predictable Then end was generally okay and a fair start for a series I will not follow Possibly, a good escape read if you like violence and the uncertainties of the dark world of collusion crime It s not too long, which is a good thing because it seemed longer than it was.Didn t wait for the Audible narration to become available, so it s possible it might have helped.Perhaps the German version was excellent, but 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 rogue By the middle of the book the mood lightened somewhat but remained just as hard hitting and gritty Quite a few characters and suspects started appearing and I was left a little bewildered with what the connections were, they seemed tenuous but perhaps I missed something It didn t spoil the enjoyment and book 2 is a must. A pretty decent mystery thriller It was October s first reads book choice on and I m pleased I picked it There was enough mystery to keep me guessing and wanting to read It was a good enjoyable read and one I would recommend to anyone wanting to chill out with a good book. 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 about it to understand him better I was disappointed with this book from chapter one, and it was a struggle to finish 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 never learn what turned him bitter and self destructive, although we get a hint at the end of the book He s become obsessed with the murder of a young wife, convinced that the CID investigation was deliberately botched in deference to the powerful husband who killed her Even in modern Germany with its female head of state, male privilege is alive and well and money talks everywhere.Still, beating up the DA in charge of the case is a risky move for a detective and predictably results only in Nik losing favor with department heads He now works unimportant cases with a partner he despises, under a supervisor concerned only with his own advancement His access to departmental computer files has been curtailed and only his friend Tilo in the Major Crimes Unit will get information for him In the modern world, taking away a cop s computer access is worse than taking away his badge or his gun.It looks like Nik s bad attitude and heavy drinking will soon end his employment in law enforcement, but before that can happen, a shadowy character ropes him into an unauthorized investigation Jon is a computer whiz with unlimited money and connections and he wants to know why the police aren t investigating the unexplained disappearance of a young woman named Viola As Nik investigates, it becomes apparent that than one young woman is missing in Munich and those disappearances may be connected.Olga, Kathrin, and Viola seem to have little in common Olga is a Russian country girl brought to Germany by human traffickers and forced into prostitution Kathrin is a bright young career woman with a drug addiction Viola is a radiant flower child paying her way through university by working as a bartender at a trendy watering hole called The Palace Now Olga and Viola have disappeared and Kathrin s death was labeled an accident in spite of evidence to the contrary And there are well connected, well funded people blocking investigations into their deaths Money buys loyalty and services and Nik quickly learns that he can trust no one, not even fellow cops.The common denominator is a mysterious place called The Meadows Beauty Resort, which is actually a rehab center for wealthy addicts Nik becomes a patient and his snooping uncovers some secrets that put The Meadows on the front pages of every newspaper in Munich Meanwhile, Jon is busy on his computer, collating information, trying to find someone who s connected with both The Palace and The Meadows What he finds busts the case wide open, almost gets Nik killed again , and exposes the fact that Munich s feudal past is still very much a force in the 21st century.I didn t think I was going to like this book The beginning is almost absurdly gloomy It s hard to buy into a story when practically all the characters are either corrupt or pawns of corruption However, it improves as it goes along And thank God the author seems to remember that his readers might like a little humor in the story.The second half is still over the top, but we start meeting some good guys and there are some comic scenes to lighten the mood The crooked pathologist Balthasar and his campy hairdresser friend are hilarious as they fly around transforming a blue collar cop into a wealthy, young addict And once they get Nik into The Meadows, his new friend Leo is a wonderful addition to the cast of characters At that point, the story morphs into a caper and a very interesting one It stops just short of farce, but it does use every technological gimmick in the business.This is obviously intended to be the first in a series of mysteries I got involved in it than I thought possible at the beginning Nik and Jon and Balthasar are a fine, entertaining team of crime fighters I wouldn t mind reading of their adventures and I suspect the next book will be better than this one Munich is a fascinating city and a wonderful setting I think this series has real potential. 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 There is a lot of violence, as there often is in European crime novels maybe American too, I don t know There is a lot of the most scummy, broken people imaginable The story takes place in January in Munich and it snows a lot Atmosphere There is a lot of description Certainly a detective has to notice details, but boy, are they abundant here Now, here are some of my reasons why this book only earned two stars view spoiler I find it hard to believe that Nik recovers from every beating, every bender, every attack on his body quickly enough to jump in and keep fighting, or running, or whatever, especially since he s not in the best of health to begin with Just a couple of aspirin and he s on his way Really Also and here s my biggest beef the climax is a cop out In the very last pages, we meet the guy who had killed all these women, a guy with congenital anger syndrome or something like that and an extremely rich mama who pays everyone to accommodate him What How would any detective solve that No hints, no indication, nothing It s like the author ran out of ideas, killed off most of the characters and said, Hey I know I ll invent this guy who kills young women I ll just tack him on at the end of the book Really hide spoiler 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 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 unconvincingly grizzled and scruffy curmudgeon of a detective You know the type he or she often grudgingly rolls out of bed, crams a cigarette into his or her mouth, and kicks random empty beer cans and whiskey bottles out of the way as he or she gets shabbily dressed in jeans and a t shirt that are way overdue for a wash Our protagonist, Nik, is cut from this cloth Nik is pursuing a mystery, as all good rumpled detectives do But the real mystery to me is why this story just doesn t seem to hold my attention The writing isn t distractingly bad The narrative is unoriginal, but I ve plowed my way through many similarly unoriginal treatises and often enjoyed the journey The apparent conspiracy doesn t sidetrack or divert I just don t find the thing entertaining The best stories are engrossing I feel engrossed Not so this one I find it difficult to read than a chapter at a time, and when I pick up where I left off the following day I find it even difficult to recall what I was reading the night before All the elements are here except for what Passion Glue Some assembly is still required.