Dead of Night by Simon Scarrow

Today Mandie is sharing her thoughts on Dead of Night, the latest novel from Simon Scarrow. Our thanks to Jessica Hunt of Ransom PR for the tour invite and to publisher Headline for the advance copy for review. Here’s what the book is about:

Source: Advance Reader Copy
Release Date: 02 February 2023
Publisher: Headline

About the Book

BERLIN. JANUARY 1941. Evil cannot bring about good . . .

After Germany’s invasion of Poland, the world is holding its breath and hoping for peace. At home, the Nazi Party’s hold on power is absolute.

One freezing night, an SS doctor and his wife return from an evening mingling with their fellow Nazis at the concert hall. By the time the sun rises, the doctor will be lying lifeless in a pool of blood.

Was it murder or suicide? Criminal Inspector Horst Schenke is told that under no circumstances should he investigate. The doctor’s widow, however, is convinced her husband was the target of a hit. But why would anyone murder an apparently obscure doctor? Compelled to dig deeper, Schenke learns of the mysterious death of a child. The cases seem unconnected, but soon chilling links begin to emerge that point to a terrifying secret.

Even in times of war, under a ruthless regime, there are places in hell no man should ever enter. And Schenke fears he may not return alive . . .

Mandie’s Thoughts

Dead of Night is book 2 in the Berlin Wartime series. The book starts with the death of an SS doctor following a night out with his wife and friends. Ruled as suicide, his wife is adamant that her husband would not take his own life and that he was murdered. Through a family friend Criminal Inspector Horst Schenke is brought in to look into the circumstances of the doctors death and to determine if the case should be reopened. Despite his findings he is told that the original decision is to remain and he must stop looking further. When he is then called to look into the death of a child things start to get murkier and he finds himself being threatened from all angles and he no longer knows who he can trust other than those in his close team. 

I have to say that I liked the character of Horst Schenke. He is making the best of his life after his career took a dramatic turn that lead to him becoming a Kripo officer. He is often torn between doing what is expected of him and doing what he knows to be right. Knowing that should anyone find out that he does not wholly follow the party line could cause harm to both him and those close to him. Despite knowing that he could be shot he does everything he can to protect Ruth a young Jewish girl who had helped him in a previous case and is now helping him again in the investigations into the doctor’s death.  

The author has managed to create a story that has a harrowing reality to it and he has dealt with the subject sensitively whilst also highlighting the abhorrent practices of the Nazi party in their quest for the perfect race. The two seemingly separate investigations are brought together seamlessly and along with Schenke you can’t help but feel for the men who have taken matters into their own hands to bring the guilty to justice even when you know that it will not end well for them either. 

I have never read any books by Simon Scarrow before but there was something about the blurb for his latest book Dead of Night that made this a book I wanted to read even though it was book 2 in the series. What I did find when reading it was that you don’t have to have read Blackout the first in the series to be able to follow the story. There is no doubt that things that took place during WWII were unspeakable and that the events in Dead of Night are based on fact just has you wondering if we will ever really know everything that took place during that time. It seems wrong to say that I enjoyed this book, but it is definitely one that kept me hooked and that I would recommend reading.

About the Author

Simon Scarrow is a Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author. His books – which have sold over 5 million copies – include his Eagles of the Empire novels featuring Roman soldiers Macro and Cato, most recently THE HONOUR OF ROME, THE EMPEROR’S EXILE and TRAITORS OF ROME, as well as BLACKOUT, the bestselling first novel in the Berlin Wartime Thriller series, and many more. He lives in Norfolk with his wife.

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