Friday, September 22, 2006
The Good German
When is it justice and when it is vengeance? Joseph Kanon tackles this moral question in his stunning novel, The Good German.
Set in postwar Berlin, Jake Geismar is a newspaper reporter who returns to Berlin to cover the Potsdam Conference and to find the German woman he left behind. But while he searches for her, he stumbles upon the dead body of an American soldier that just happens to surface during the Potsdam Conference. Geismar smells a rat and begins making enquiries, eventually leading him to a traitorous mix of Russians, Americans, and Germans.
Kanon briliantly examines the question of justice in this book - from those who committed war crimes and to those who stood by and did nothing. Are they just as guilty? And how much should a people be punished before it turns into nothing more than cold-blooded revenge? Kanon leave the answer up to you.
A fast-paced read and brimming with details of post-war Berlin, The Good German is a must for any World War II enthusiast.