Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Ashes of Berlin by Luke McCallin #BlogTour @mccallinluke @noexitpress

1947 and Gregor Reinhardt has been hired back onto Berlin's civilian police force. The city is divided among the victorious allied powers, tensions are growing, and the police are riven by internal rivalries as factions within it jockey for power and influence with Berlin's new masters.

When a man is found slain in a broken-down tenement, Reinhardt embarks on a gruesome investigation. It seems a serial killer is on the loose, and matters only escalate when it s discovered that one of the victims was the brother of a Nazi scientist.

Reinhardt's search for the truth takes him across the divided city and soon embroils him in a plot involving the Western Allies and the Soviets. And as he comes under the scrutiny of a group of Germans who want to continue the war and faces an unwanted reminder from his own past Reinhardt realizes that this investigation could cost him everything as he pursues a killer who believes that all wrongs must be avenged...

The Ashes of Berlin by Luke McCallin is published by No Exit Press in paperback on 24 August 2017. I'm really happy to welcome you to The Ashes of Berlin Blog Tour, and to introduce the author, Luke McCallin, who is talking about the books that are special to him in My Life in Books.

My Life In Books ~ Luke McCallin

JRR Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings: probably my favourite novel, and one that you find something new in every time you read it. His evocation of a sylvan world passing to that of an industrialised one, is something I particularly enjoy.

Rosemary Sutcliffe - The Eagle of the Ninth: beautifully written, a story for all ages, and such a wonderful evocation of Britain in her descriptions of its places and peoples. It has two of my favourite all-time characters in Marcus Aquila and Esca.

Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird: a novel I read as I began to come to more and greater awareness of the world around me. I read it the first time growing up in post-independence Zimbabwe. It's such an influential and beautiful book on so many levels. One of the parts that always struck me was the way in which people can--or choose to--fight injustice far away but ignore or just not see that injustice that is in front of their very eyes and in their everyday lives. 

All Quiet on the Western Front; Les croix de bois; A Long, Long Way; Birdsong: all novels that moved me deeply about the experience of the First World War, from British, Irish, German and French perspective. 

John Le Carre - Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: 'the' Cold War novel, a brilliant story of espionage and the human character told against a backdrop of . 

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle - The Mote in God's Eye: probably still for me the finest novel of first contact. It's also very well crafted sci-fi novel in a universe where faster-then-light travel between stars is possible, but only at certain points. Which means that, much like old-fashioned sailing ships, starships must still travel to and from those points with all the limitations imposed by the laws of the universe as we understand them. This means that the interstellar society described in the book resembles the 19th century, in which communications moved faster than men and ships but in which the 'centre' could not possibly intervene or control what happened on the periphery, meaning power and governance was devolved to viceroys and ship's captains to deal with issues.  

China Mieville - The City and The City: at times almost surreal, but not written as a surreal novel. Rather, as well as a page-turning mystery in a world with strict written and unwritten rules, it's a thought-provoking metaphor for our modern lives. The novel explores--among many other things--the way in which we allow ourselves, or have been indoctrinated or educated, to 'unsee' certain things. Like the homeless, the marginalised, corruption, brutality, the 'other'.  

Robert Harris - Fatherland: a brilliant example of the alternate history or reality, so well done that you finish the book and blink at the world around you. A first-class detective story, too. (As for the alternate history genre, a more than honourable mention for Philip K Dick's The Man in the High Castle, too.)

Almost anything from the Patrick O'Brian canon...! I'll settle on Post Captain, partly for the very detailed descriptions of, and insights into, life on land and not just at sea for men like Aubrey and Maturin, but also because of the very funny recounting of their escape from Toulon, after it had been taken by the French. 

Luke McCallin ~ August 2017 

Luke McCallin was born in 1972 in Oxford, grew up in Africa, went to school around the world and has worked with the United Nations as a humanitarian relief worker and peacekeeper in the Caucasus, the Sahel, and the Balkans. His experiences have driven his writing, in which he explores what happens to normal people - those stricken by conflict, by disaster - put under abnormal pressures. He lives with his wife and two children in an old farmhouse in France in the Jura Mountains. He has a master's degree in political science, speaks French, and can just get by in Russian. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys reading history, playing the drums, and heading into the mountains for a run.

For more information visit
Follow him on Twitter @mccallinluke

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