A Darker State

A Darker State : The gripping cold war thriller perfect for fans of Robert Harris

3.98 (389 ratings by Goodreads)
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FOR THE STASI, IT'S NOT JUST THE TRUTH THAT GETS BURIED . . . A gripping thriller set in 1970s East Germany, perfect for fans of Child 44, Phillip Kerr and Martin Cruz Smith.

The body of a teenage boy is found weighted down in a lake. Karin Muller, newly appointed Major of the People's Police, is called to investigate. But her power will only stretch so far, when every move she makes is under the watchful eye of the Stasi.

Then, when the son of Muller's team member goes missing, it quickly becomes clear that there is a terrifying conspiracy at the heart of this case, one that could fast lead Muller and her young family into real danger.

Can she navigate this complex political web and find the missing boy, before it's too late?

Praise for CWA Award-winning David Young

'Young is excellent at describing terrible injustice, mass and personal, by way of a strong plot and a sympathetic woman' The Times

'A Darker State is gripping, thrilling and very, very good' William Ryan

'Masterful. . . an intricate, absorbing page-turner' Daily Express

'This fast-paced thriller hooks the readers from the start' The Sun

'Superb. A thrilling Cold War mystery that reminded me of Robert Harris at his best' Mason Cross

'Up there with Martin Cruz Smith and the other greats of the field' Abir Mukherjee

'Masterful . . . a cracking debut' David Jackson
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 22mm | 281g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • None
  • 178576070X
  • 9781785760709
  • 39,692

Review quote

A Darker State has such a strong plot. The novels in this series always do. This is fascinating historical fiction, just as it's also gripping crime fiction. Its sense of place and time are second to none. When I read one of David Young's books, I feel completely immersed in it, even more so because of the quality of the characterisation and the empathy that the author feels for these people. The fact that A Darker State is also such a pageturner doesn't hurt in the least! If you haven't read this series before than A Darker State can definitely be read as a stand alone, but I certainly suggest that you give yourself a treat and also read Muller's first case, Stasi Child and its excellent successor Stasi Wolf * For Winter Nights * Young portrays the paranoid landscape of East Germany's surveillance state with such breathtaking detail and authenticity that we can almost taste the fear, feel the chill, and see the grandeur of Berlin's ostentatious Karl-Marx-Allee jostling with the crumbling, soulless apartment blocks that litter the city. But the beating heart of this multi-layered story is the plucky, determined Karin, and an enthralling police procedural, a murder mystery which takes in aspects of real history and weaves them into an intriguing case that involves a terrifying web of deception, obstruction and corruption. Powerful, fast-paced and exciting, the Karin Muller series just gets better and better... * Lancashire Evening Post * Crime fiction has a new heroine in the form of Karin Muller, a major in the People's Police, as created by David Young in his award-winning historical mystery Stasi Child. Now Karin Muller returns in A Darker State * Shots Magazine * One of the things I love about Young's writing is that it feels so authentic, yes there is authorial license applied and this is a work of fiction but the essence of the plot feels real... Absolutely masterful plotting, packed with tension and so wonderfully gripping, this is a magnificent book...Highly recommended!! * The Quiet Knitter * The novel deals with some exceptionally moving themes. The manipulation of individuals, to achieve state goals. Also, the vile abuses a country can carry out on its own citizens. I think the author is very brave to address the concept within the historical era. It cannot have been an easy task. But he has delivered a thought-provoking and complex 5* novel * Anne Bonny Book Reviews * David Young is excellent at describing terrible injustice, mass and personal, by way of a strong plot and a sympathetic woman. -- Marcel Berlins * The Times * Definitely a series that I have enjoyed, and with an overview of all three books, this has been my favourite to date. * Raven Crime Reads * The author does a fantastic job of providing us with another excellent additon to this series and gives us perfect descriptions of Germany during the Cold War. * Broadbean's Books * Pacy yet considered, A Darker State is a bit of a page turner, the conspiracy at the heart of it is emotive and descriptively speaking it is spot on to immerse you into the events playing out on the page. Overall another stonking good read and I genuinely can't wait for the next. * Liz Loves Books * As always, Young's beautifully embedded research enables him to craft a fascinating glimpse into what was a rather secretive society. Karin Muller is the perfect conduit for our gaze, complicit as she is in maintaining a regime history has encouraged us to think badly of. * Buried Under Books * It is crammed full of intrigue and deception and is so densely plotted that you wonder how David Young has kept such a tight hold on the narrative. It is great story telling, with the environment and characters all woven together. I loved how you could feel Karin's apprehension as she pulled her coat closer against the cold. You can almost taste the chill. * Books, Life and Everything * I really enjoyed this one. Politics, paranoia and suspicion pervade the narrative... Tense, intelligent and not just a little frightening, A Darker State is a fascinating peep behind the Iron Curtain and the workings of an imperfect state. * Col's Criminal Library * Just reading a view chapters makes you feel like you really are in Germany in the 1970s. The story kept me hooked and I really enjoyed reading every page. The story is really fast paced and made me want to read until the very end. * Maureen's Books * an entertaining and interesting read * Historical Novel Society * A fast paced and authentic thriller * Journal Online * A tight, heart-pounding novel that dives deep into social prejudices and the hypocrisy of socialist Germany . . . a top notch thriller packed with intricate, frightening plot twists * Foreword Reviews *
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About David Young

East Yorkshire-born David Young began his East German-set crime series on a creative writing MA at London's City University when Stasi Child - his debut - won the course prize. The novel went on to win the 2016 CWA Historical Dagger, and both it and the 2017 follow-up, Stasi Wolf, were longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. His novels have been sold in eleven territories round the world. Before becoming a full-time author, David was a senior journalist with the BBC's international radio and TV newsrooms for more than 25 years. He writes in his Twickenham garden shed and in a caravan on the Isle of Wight. You can follow him on Twitter @djy_writer
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Rating details

389 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 30% (116)
4 44% (173)
3 21% (81)
2 4% (15)
1 1% (4)
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