The Sleepwalkers
by Paul Grossman
Hardcover- $17.04

     Berlin, 1932.  In the final weeks of the Weimar Republic, as Hitler and his National Socialist party angle to assume control of ...

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  "The Sleewalkers" by mpaniaguatej (see profile) 04/16/11

is a very good novel that approaches the beginnings of the Nazi power in a different way and how fear can change an entire nation in sleepwalkers

  "The Best Kind of Thriller" by ebach (see profile) 10/31/11

Sometimes I just can’t wait to blurt it out: THE SLEEPWALKERS by Paul Grossman is an outstanding thriller. Like Joseph Kanon’s books, this is excellent historical fiction as well.

The setting is 1932 Berlin. The body of a young woman has washed to shore. Willi, a Jewish police detective and former World War I hero, famous already for solving another huge case, is called to the scene. He notes that she was beautiful. But her legs are horribly deformed, almost as if they are backward. And her hair has been shaved. She is also missing both wisdom teeth, indicating she was probably American. She’s dubbed “the mermaid.”

Before he has a chance to get anywhere with this case, Willi is given another, higher profile assignment—to find the missing princess of Bulgaria, who had been visiting Berlin with her husband. According to the doorman at the hotel she walked out of, she looked like a sleepwalker. Willi’s subsequent investigation finds many more missing persons cases involving sleepwalkers.

With his assistant Gunther, Willi uncovers more and more evidence that the unthinkable may be going on in Germany. And it may all begin with a hypnotist.

I highly recommend THE SLEEPWALKERS. But I admit I did have a problem with Willi’s prostitute. She’s a friend of the American he feels may be “the mermaid.” But she soon becomes a love interest to Willi. He turns off his brains when it comes to sex because he hasn’t had any in 2 years. Is this reason enough to leave a prostitute alone in his apartment all day while he goes to work or to trust her with details of his cases? This tarnished an otherwise fantastic read for me.

In spite of that one criticism, I still insist that THE SLEEPWALKERS is the best kind of thriller. If you hesitate to read it because you aren’t familiar with Grossman, it’s time to expand your horizons and read a new author. He’s so good that I’m preordering his next book, CHILDREN OF WRATH, due out in February.

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