Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Bridge of Sighs by Olen Steinhauer

My book for November is The Bridge of Sighs by Olen Steinhauer. Sharon's brother Tom recommended the book to me last year while we were at a crab feed.

The novel is set in 1948 in a small, unnamed Eastern European country. It is a country devastated by World War II and still occupied by Russian troops. The main character, Emil Brod, is a 22-year-old homicide inspector in the People's Militia.

The book's trail of murder, blackmail and wartime secrets eventually leads Brod to a divided Berlin. During a key section of the book, he observes firsthand the non-stop activity at Tempelhof Airport during the Allied airlift. The Berlin Blockade from June 24, 1948 to May 12, 1949 was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War.

The Bridge of Sighs is the first in a five-book series of thrillers chronicling the evolution of the fictional Eastern European country during the Cold War. Each book is set in a different decade.

About 100 pages into the book, I was starting to feel like I wasn't going to enjoy the book. Just at that point, the plot spun around and raced off in a very different direction. I ended up being drawn through the rest of the novel. Overall, I would give it a strong 'B' grade. I enjoyed the book enough that I have already the second book in the series.

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