This is a review I did back in June for the August edition of The Historical Novel Society. Per their policy, I was not able to post it until after August 1st.
The Pilot’s Girl is the second book in the Hanni Winter series. While it can be read as a standalone, I would recommend reading book one, The Commandant’s Daughter, first. In Berlin in 1948, Hanni is still working as a crime scene photographer for the police department but is also helping the U.S. government with some publicity shots. She continues to investigate an evil person from her past, trying to bring everything to light and make things as right as she can. In addition, she is fighting her growing feelings for detective Freddy Schlüssel because she knows he can never accept her history. When a series of seemingly unrelated murders occurs, Hanni and Freddy are sure they are connected and begin to investigate.
This novel transports us back to Berlin after World War II. The Nuremberg trials have taken place, but many Nazis have escaped, some remaining very close by. The politics of the era and the upheaval in Berlin are portrayed very skilfully. The murder mystery is unique in that the reader is introduced to the killer early on. Hanni’s struggles are very real for the time. She desperately wants to bring her evil father’s crimes to light but knows it may destroy her life as well, as he continues to manipulate and turn the tables on her. The weaving together of history, mystery, thriller, and love story is very well done. The character development is outstanding, especially when it comes to the villains. Full of intrigue, surprise, and a dose of romance, this mystery series will keep you enthralled.
While I had begun to tire of WWII fiction after the book world was inundated with it, this book set in post-WWII when many Nazis were on the run is fascinating.
4.5 stars, rounded up to five on sites with no half-star option.
I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via The Historical Novel Society. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
(In her own words on her Amazon page)
Welcome to my Amazon page and – if you’ve been here before – my brand new author image which was taken by my very brave husband (I’m not an easy person to catch with a camera). I seem to have followed a rather meandering career, including marketing and teaching and politics (don’t try and join the dots), to get where I have always wanted to be, which is writing historical fiction. I am a story lover as well as a story writer and nothing fascinates me more than a strong female protagonist and a quest. Hopefully, those are what you will encounter when you pick up my books.
I am from the North of England but now live very happily in Glasgow with my American husband. Both my children have left home (one to London and one to Berlin) which may explain why I am finally writing. If I’m not at my desk you’ll most probably find me in the cinema, or just follow the sound of very loud music.
BUY LINKS FOR BOTH BOOKS IN THE HANNI WINTER SERIES
I was excited to see that both of the books in this series are on Kindle Unlimited. Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read the series for free. That is a great value! Both books are highly rated on Amazon and already have 1500 reviews between the two of them. If you choose to purchase them instead, the ebooks are only $3.99 each, a very reasonable price for ebooks these days.