Cover Image: Stasi Child

Stasi Child

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Member Reviews

An incredibly gripping and gritty read. I thought it was a clever plot, with well developed and interesting characters. I was compelled to keep turning the pages. Three intertwined stories, a dark mystery made this an incredibly authentic story. Recommended!
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I’m not much of a fan of thrillers at the best of times – and this wasn’t the best of times. Run-of-the-mill Cold War murder mystery which got sillier and sillier as the plot developed. It started quite promisingly with a girl’s body apparently fleeing into East Germany rather than away. There were some nice period details and forays into the working of the East German Police and the Stasi but not enough to make up for the ridiculous plot twists and turns which got more and more out of hand as the novel stumbled on to its unconvincing and melodramatic conclusion.
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As studies in corruption go, this is a benchmark. As the bodies of children proliferate, Young uses their backstories to illustrate the ways in which the Stasi deceived and betrayed children in care. Books with evil children in them are fairly rare (one thinks, though, of William March's pioneering The Bad Seed of 1954, or some of Ann Cleeves' dangerous juveniles). Seldom have I found myself holding my breath at the horror of what I've been reading, and I recommend this book only to those with nerves of steel. 
Oberleutnant Karin Muller of the East German police finds herself discouraged by the Stasi in her investigation of an unusual death: the body of a young girl has been found on the East side of the wall--apparently the girl was trying to escape from the West. The Stasi simply block her at every turn, and threaten her and her home life. The lies come so thick and fast that it is difficult not to feel one might be reading Kafka without the jokes. Young's ability to take us into the minds of half-a-dozen characters, including adults and children who live in a twisted world of terror.
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