Rosa
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Rosa

3.74 (1,144 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

November 1918. A socialist revolution is sweeping across Germany, wreaking havoc on war-torn Berlin. Amid the ruin of the city's slums, four women are found dead--all with identical scars on their backs. Detective Inspector Nikolai Hoffner and his assistant, Hans Fichte, are baffled by the killings, and when another body is discovered, the case takes an ominous and unexpected turn. The fifth victim is none other than Rosa Luxemburg--a leader of the suppressed socialist uprising. Now, the Polpo, political police, are interested in the murders, and the mystery of Rosa's death leads Hoffner into the heart of Weimar's political turmoil, where ideas can be fatal.

A spellbinding historical thriller from the author of The Second Son and Shadow and Light, Rosa is "a ghostly noir that could have been conspired at by Raymond Chandler and André Malraux . . . astonishing" (John Leonard, Harper's Magazine).
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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 24mm | 526g
  • New York
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1250008727
  • 9781250008725
  • 2,553,722

Flap copy

A murdered revolutionary . . .
A vicious serial killer . . .
A city in chaos . . .
All lead to Rosa.

In the last days of the First World War, socialist revolution swept across Germany, sending Kaiser Wilhelm into exile and transforming Berlin into a battleground. But for Detective Inspector Nikolai Hoffner and his young assistant, Hans Fichte, the revolution is a mere inconvenience. Four women from the slums of Berlin have turned up dead, all with identical markings etched into their backs, and Hoffner and Fichte have spent the better part of six weeks trying to crack the bizarre case.
Things take a troubling turn when the political police begin to show an interest in Hoffner's investigation. Hoffner has no idea why the Polpo would want to get their hands dirty with a serial murderer, until he is shown the lifeless body of Rosa Luxemburg, the same eerie markings on her back. Rumors abound that Rosa, one of the leaders of the suppressed socialist uprising, was assassinated by an angry mob, but the pattern carved into her back tells a different story.
In his remarkable new thriller, Jonathan Rabb paints a vivid, unforgettable picture of a city and a people poised between the chaos of the First World War and the darkness to come, a time when political thugs, petty thieves, and charismatic leaders rushed to fill the void left behind. Into this gap steps Hoffner, who, while battling his own personal demons, is still determined to find out who is preying on the women of Berlin, even as he gets drawn deeper into the mystery surrounding Rosa's death. Hoffner's search for the killer leads him on a dark and twisted journey through the battle-scarred streets of the city, wherehe soon discovers that nothing is as it appears. And while he finds allies in unexpected places, he is met at every turn by men who will stop at nothing to keep him from finding out the truth about Rosa.
A genuine mystery at the time, Rosa's fate has continued to prompt speculation to this day. Rabb's taut political thriller imagines one strikingly real possibility. With his first two novels, "The Overseer and "The Book of Q, Rabb proved that he had a talent not only for writing suspenseful narratives but for illuminating the darkest corners of history as well. With "Rosa, his finest work, he brings to life a world capital on the brink of chaos, a tragic revolutionary who both inspired and enraged, and a compellingly complex, world-weary, deeply flawed but brilliant inspector named Nikolai Hoffner.
Also available as an eBook

"From the Hardcover edition.
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Review quote

"Tantalizing . . . memorable . . . a tour de force." --The New York Times Book Review

"Rabb artfully delineates the city as it emerges from war, defeat, and revolution into the shadow of a nascent state of terror." --The Boston Globe

"Rabb wields a deft and chilling pen.." --Richmond Times-Dispatch

"So richly drawn, so dark, and so compelling." --Detroit Free Press

"Wonderfully evocative . . . this novel transcends the mystery genre by offering readers a glimpse into the economic and political chaos in Berlin after the war and then transcends politics by giving a pulsatingly detailed account of individual life at a particular moment in history." --Booklist (starred review)
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About Jonathan Rabb

Jonathan Rabb is the author of several novels: The Second Son, Shadow and Light, Rosa, The Overseer, and The Book of Q. He lives in Savannah, Georgia, with his wife and twin children.
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Rating details

1,144 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 21% (243)
4 42% (479)
3 29% (332)
2 6% (71)
1 2% (19)
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