A Death in Berlin (The Simon Sampson Mysteries, #2)

 A Death in Berlin (The Simon Sampson Mysteries, #2)
Author: David C. Dawson
Publisher: Park Creek Publishing
Release Date: September 28, 2022
Genre(s): M/M Historical, Crime/Spy/Intrigue
Page Count: 268
Rating: 5 stars out of 5 

Dawson builds a solid historical background as Simon Sampson relocates to 1933 Berlin, obstensibly as a BBC foreign correspondent, in the second book of the series. This is the Berlin of Christopher Isherwood (who briefly appears) as well as Hitler's early days as German Chancellor. It was a time when people could still think "No. I don't think we've got anything to worry about. It's the communists they're after. And the Jews of course." And the stirrings of fascism were considered as "little more than a manifestation of patriotism." 

Simon, as an agent of British intelligence services and a closeted gay man, has a unique set of qualifications. "When one spends most of one's waking hours watching how one presents oneself to the rest of the world, it becomes ludicrously easy to keep other secrets as well." 

And through his relationships and acquaintance with several richly developed secondary characters (both real and fictional), Simon finds himself investigating the possibility of Germany's covert rearmament, if his first love Justin, who is now a MP, may be a communist spy, and if the records of the renowned Sexual Institute in Berlin can be freed from the reach of the Nazi party. 

Dawson's skillful blending of actual historic events makes the espionage and intrigue especially enaging, and from a current standpoint, terrifying. Anyone who loves history knows the old adage “Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it” (which Edmund Burke, George Santayana or Winston Churchill may have first said), and one cannot help but be aware that there are clear parallels to current developments in our nation and world. 

My only niggle about this book is the enigmatic personality of Bill, Simon's fellow spy and former BBC head of libraries. Bill is confounding, abrasive and a tough nut to crack (and appreciate.) 5 stars for A Death in Berlin and I anxiously wait the next book in the series! 

I received an ARC from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

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