Cover Image: The Hidden Storyteller

The Hidden Storyteller

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This is all about WWII but still so very different.

The year 1946 Hamburg, Germany broken, in pieces. The people so overwhelmed by their own history, desperate, dying now of TB and malnutrition instead of at the hands of the Nazis.

We have Georgie Young, intrepid war reporter who has a tough reputation of laying the facts as she sees them. Coming from London at a time of personal crisis, she herself is at an uncertain stage but is determined to do the assignment. See Germany at its worst, give in her report. She didn’t expect to get mugged twice on her first day. She also did not expect to get involved on a personal basis with the people she came into contact with. From Meta the waif with a core of steel, to Zophie on a personal quest and Inspector Harri battling crime with no resources, no help. Getting involved in a serial murder investigation was not part of Georgie’s instructions, but she was not very good at following instructions.

The story covers post war Germany, the over riding British presence, the ignorance and condescension shown by many British officers which exacerbated a bad situation, corruption at every level on both sides, and the almost apocalyptic situation Germans faced every day just trying to survive one more day.

The story is very violent, very emotional and factual. It is unputdownable!

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First and foremost, a huge THANK YOU to NetGalley, Avon Books UK, Avon Publishing, and author, Mandy Robotham for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. Publication date is currently set for February 29, 2024.

WWII fiction specialist, Mandy Robotham brings to the spotlight a time I must admit I've not given all that much thought to.

The story opens in Hamburg, 1946. WWII officially ended September 2, 1945.

World War II has finally ended, the German city of Hamburg was left in ruins. Over 100,000 citizens had been killed during the air raids and, in the months following the war, millions of people remained homeless and without food.

Peacetime despair and decay replaced dynamite and cordite.

We know from modern day conflict zones, that suffering does not automatically cease when the weapons of war are laid down. It takes time to rebuild. Fierce ground battles and aerial raids caused untold devastation, nations were left broken, and in the aftermath, the people left behind were left to rebuild.

The Hidden Storyteller gives us the story of those remaining and the writing will wring out tears as you read.

Miss Georgina Young, a seasoned English war reporter is sent to the British-controlled area of Hamburg to report on what's left after the war - displaced persons, those still living underground, in cellars and bunkers and refugee camps. Onto streets where the currency of the day is bargaining - food, coal, trinkets, ephemeron, and the currency on the streets most sought after - cigarettes.

Inspektor Harri Schroder of the Kriminapolitzei (the Kripo) has been charged with finding a brutal killer nicknamed, The Puppet Master".

As the story progresses, Georgina meets and befriends various secondary characters, including Meta, a young trümmer kinder, and, of course, a local policeman on the trail of a serial killer.

The author has done a wonderful job of illuminating this setting and time period, adding an extra spin on this World War II novel - with the story occurring after the war has ended.

Robotham's prose is strong, draws you in and doesn't let go until the final page.

Recommended for any fan of historical fiction and anyone who has enjoyed this author's previous works.

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This book is set one year after the war ends in Hamburg Germany. Georgie,a young reporter has arrived to report on how the allied forces are working with the Germans to reinstate law and order and rebuild.
I haven't read a book set just after the war like this.
I shouldn't really have been surprised at how chaotic Hamburg was but I was. The people were destitute,most living in war torn shells of buildings and scores of children living underground and surviving by their wits alone.
Georgie makes friends with one young girl who tries to steal from her. She also gels with a German police Sargent and they join forces to catch a murderer.
I really enjoyed this book. The descriptions of the surroundings and people made me feel like I was watching a film. There were some very tense moments where my heart was in my mouth for fear of what might happen.
I have read a few books by this author and enjoyed them all but didn't realise there was a book before this one about Georgie and her husband. It didn't spoil the enjoyment of this book at all but I'm sure I'll be reading it soon.

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Another well done novel from Robotham. It's a little different this time because it's set in post -WWII Germany and because there's a murder mystery at its heart, Georgie is a journalist with her own issues but she finds herself working with Harri to find and stop a killer. It's well paced and atmospheric. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A very good read.

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Another great read from Mandy, I loved this one. Packed full with information about this era. Always guaranteed a great read from this author. My thanks to netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.

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Mandy Robotham has done it again with a narrative so gripping, you won't be able to pry yourself away. Brace yourself for a riveting journey through post-World War II Hamburg, where Georgie, an intrepid journalist, fearlessly uncovers the untold aftermath of the war. This isn't just a story; it's an immersive plunge into the shadows of history.

Georgie, in her unwavering determination, unravels the deep layers of a city haunted by the echoes of the Nazi Occupation, but soon finds herself entrenched in a serial murder investigation. As she joins forces with unlikely friends, the stakes skyrocket, and Georgie's gut instincts become her compass in a desperate search for the man wreaking chaos on the vulnerable women of Hamburg.

What sets this tale apart is its unique exploration of the overlooked aftermath of World War II, shedding light on the sad reality of the fallout that the destruction of war brings. Mandy Robotham's storytelling prowess not only captivates but also prompts profound reflection on what must be thousands of untold stories that history often sidelines or forgets.

A heartfelt thank you to NetGalley and Avon UK for granting me early access to this literary gem. My thoughts are my own, a testament to the impact this exceptional narrative has left on me. Prepare to be transported, enthralled, and utterly captivated – because Mandy Robotham has, once again, crafted a masterpiece that refuses to be confined to the bookshelf.

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I have read several books by Mandy Robotham and enjoyed them all. Unfortunately, this one just did not work for me. The plot was slow and felt all over the place for the first 2 thirds of the novel. All the action was packed in the last 20% of the book. I enjoyed when we were first introduced to the main character, Georgie, in Robotham’s novel “The Berlin Girl”, and I don’t think she needed another book devoted to her story.

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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If you are familiar with Mandy Robotham novels, you may recognize the main character Georgie, a compassionate journalist, who is familiar with the atrocities of WWII (The Berlin Girl). In this story, Georgie is out to get a feel for the Germany that is left post war and experience the relationship between civilian Germans in Hamburg and the British military stationed there. What she soon learns is tragic, a city full of poverty and desperation. Georgie finds herself forging alliances with unlikely characters and learns of a serial killer attacking unsuspecting women.

This one differs from other WWII fiction in the sense that the focus was placed on the impacts and events taking place after the war was over, which we don’t typically consider. It was not enough that the war had ended, Shortages were ever present. Trust was ever lacking. Theft was on an all time high. I gained new perspective on post war, and the struggles that continued well after peace was declared. It would take years to rebuild the nation and for its civilians to feel comfort again. Things are further intensified when there is a murderer on the loose targeting lonely women.

It did take me a little while to get into this one, although beautifully written, I felt that the first half of the story was a little on the slow side. Each of the characters had an emotional hurdle to overcome, they each had a back story of some sort that had me slightly confused as to what the focus of the story was. However, it did pick up quickly and came together in the second half.

Read this if you are a fan of WWII historical fiction and interested in the aftermath of war. It was a new perspective for me!

Thank-you to Avon Books UK and NetGalley for the eARC!

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I have loved every book by Mandy Robotham and this did not disappoint. A really great premise to bring back Georgie who was a journalist in the middle of WW2. Now visiting Berlin again following the end of the war it was fascinating and heart-breaking to learn how the people suffered.

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The Hidden Storyteller by Mandy Robotham is slightly different from her other books. It is set just after the war in Hamburg in 1946. Where the city is in ruins and most of the people are displaced and living underground or even in the rubble of their own homes, and in displaced person camps. The residents seem to have no food and they rely on the British to provide for them as they are now under British rule.
Georgie Taylor is an English reporter that has come back to Hamburg after leaving 6 years ago with her husband Max. She is shocked to see the ruins and the desolation of the city. When Georgie befriends a girl called Meta who tries to steal her suitcase. With her help Meta passes information to her of the whereabouts and identity of a man who is going around killing German women in the city. And trying to write about aftermath of the war and telling the world what is happening now the British has won the war and what it means to the Germans that living there.
This is another compelling read from the author. I have read all her books, and she never disappoints. This time though this is not just an historical fiction novel, but it is also Mystery thriller which and I really enjoyed the blend of both, and the author is good at bringing the story alive and stirring your emotions to reveal what when on when the war ended. As other books in this genre, doesn’t always concentrate on that. This is another great read from the author. 4 stars from me.

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Georgie Young (journalist) is back, this time without Max. She’s in desolate, chaotic Hamburg with thousands of displaced people. Mandy writes 1946 Hamburg as it was at that harrowing time with such candour & realism. It’s a story seldom told. A different angle on the history of WWII. The war was over, but the hardships not! And it’s not just an historical fiction novel, but also a historical murder mystery. There’s a cruel serial killer wandering the streets committing gruesome crimes against women. Georgie gets involved, can she survive what’s going on & help the Police make an arrest. Interesting characters throughout. Totally engaging. Highly recommend
I received an Advanced Reader Copy from NetGalley & I am writing a voluntary honest review.

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Thank you net galley for giving me this opportunity to read this book.
The story takes place in post-war Hamburgm Germany.
Georgie is an English journalist who goes to Hamburg to research on life after WWII in the city. She will be writing articles for an English paper.
When she gets to Hamburg she is (almost?) robbed of her leather bag by a street girl named Meta.
Georgie meets up with inspector Harri Shroeder judt after the attack.
Along the way she meets up with Zofia who is looking for her sister who was at Ravensbruck.
Harri and Georgie hear cries of help and find a woman who was severly attacked.
Harri, Georgie, Meta and Zofia team up and go 'hunting' for the culprit.
The culprit could be English with a good command of German or a German with a good command of English.
This story kept me reading as there were no clues of who could do these crimes against women.
I have read all of Mandy's books and this in my own opinion was her best.
These are my own opinions.

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1946. Georgie Young is an English reporter, she's sent to British-run Hamburg, she visited seven years ago and she couldn’t believe it was the same city. Hamburg was bombed by the allies in July 1943, it's now a city of ruins, what’s left of the population are living underground, in cellars and bunkers, or in displaced persons camps.

Most rely on British aid to eat, they do their best but the railway lines are badly damaged and people are getting annoyed. Cigarettes are the main currency in Hamburg and followed by silk stockings, children resort to stealing to survive, and Georgie meets a girl sixteen year old girl called Meta who does this and a lady called Zofia and she's a concentration camp survivor and is now working as a translator.

Harri Schroder is in charge of the Hamburg Criminal Police, a woman’s body is found, she’s died in a similar way to other murder victims and he’s positive a serial killer stalking the streets. Georgie and Harri have experienced personal loss, they carry a lot of emotional baggage and it’s hard to overcome.

Georgie, Meta, Zofia and Harri and his small squad of police officers all start trying to find out the identity of the man before he strikes again, and they slowly join the dots together. Music and dancing is very popular in post war Hamburg, some are pop up venues like under the bridges of the Elbe River and is this how the killer finds his victims?

I received a copy of The Hidden Storyteller from Avon Books UK and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The author captures the despair of civilians living in post war Hamburg, Adolf Hitler maybe dead and the war has ended and life is still really hard.

A face paced historical murder mystery, with lots of twists and turns, I felt a connection and compassion for the characters and Mandy Robotham has written a really compelling book, it sucks you in from the start and five stars from me. I have been a fan of Ms. Robotham since she released her first book The German Midwife and she's one of my favourite historical fiction authors.

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It was a wellwritten book. I like that it was from post war germany. The characters were likeable, especially meta. But it was not a page Turner for me. Thank you to netgalley for letting me read this e arc in exchange for an honest opinion

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Thoroughly enjoyed this story. It’s one of those books that draws you in and the more you read, the more you can’t put it down. The characters in the book were all so interesting and gave the reader a picture of what life may have been like for them, post war. One of the main characters lives in a bombed out warehouse doing what she can to get by.
The tale is pacy and our characters had to show great courage to face the danger that was lurking in the bombed out city. In facing it however, they were all challenged by their own demons which had to be faced up to. How will it all end?
A really good read and I highly recommend it.

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Hamburg, 1946: The war is over and Germany is in ruins. Posted to an Allied-run Hamburg, reporter Georgia young returns to the country she fled seven years prior - as Chamberlain spoke those fateful words - to find it unrecognisable. Amongst the stark horrors of a bombed-out city crumbling under the weight of displaced Europeans, she discovers pockets of warmth: a violinist playing amidst the wreckage, couples dancing in the streets, a nation trying to make amends.

This story takes place post WWII. Georgia Young is a newspaper reporter, whose been sent to Hamburg to write a report about post-war Germany. She is also escaping from a personal tragedy that happened in England. There's also a serial killer on the loose in Germany, and Georgia is determined to help find him.

This was another interesting and well-written story. The fast pace and the flow of the writing made this book easy to read. I liked that the story was about post-war Germany, it made a nice change.

I would like to thank #NetGalley #AvonBooksUk and the author #MandyRobtham for my ARC of #TheHiddenStoryteller in exchange for an honest review.

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As a fan of this authors books, I found this to be utterly engaging - I couldn't put it down. I was keen to see how this story progressed for both the characters but also as to solve the mystery about who was committing the awful crimes.
Yet another take on an aspect of WW2 history, a story not told as much - what happened after the end of the way. How the lives of those in Germany and across Europe were ruined as much as anyone else's.

Good characters, I did wonder if an added romantic element may complicate things but overall a fantastic read that will engage you from start to finish.

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A journalist goes to Hamburg at the close of WW11to find a story to tell back in the UK. Meeting up with a range of characters, a orphan teenager living by her wits begging and stealing, a women survivor from a concentration camp looking for her sister, getting involved with a DI hunting for a serial killer of young women, with a city in ruins crowded with thousands of displaced persons, survivors, returning POW, deserters, refugees from the east and other destitute persons, cold homeless starving and destitute in contrast to the occupying army who well fed and comfortable, along side with the Control Commission organisation struggling to cope with reconstruction and providing housing food nd shelter for the DPs. Quite an interesting and complex story with the British taking an interest in the murder investigation ready to take over if it involves one of them.

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Really loved the story and plot. The characters were very loveable and I was hooked from chapter 1. Loved the historical elements

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The Hidden Storyteller by Mandy Robotham is another great book by this author. I have read many of her books and love them all. The characters in the story are well developed and are very likeable. This is a different take from other historical fiction, as it is set after WWII. The author's writing is eloquent and descriptive and captures you from the very beginning and evokes many emotions and feelings for the characters. It was thought provoking and made me aware of how things after the war really were.

The story weaves together a murder mystery that brings a British journalist and a German police inspector together and the hardships in Germany at the time. It shows how brutalizing war is and how its effects last long after actual conflict is over.

This is a really great read and I would highly recommend it. Thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for an advanced copy of this book.

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