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Berlin Red: An Inspector Pekkala Novel of Suspense

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(Book). April 1945 Inspector Pekkala is in a race against time as he heads to Berlin to capture the plans for a secret weapon that could change the course of the war. "Excellently plotted and paced, with a lively cast, real and fictional." The London Times (Book of the Month) Berlin Red is the seveneth and final novel in this "gripping series of literary thrillers" ( Bookl (Book). April 1945 Inspector Pekkala is in a race against time as he heads to Berlin to capture the plans for a secret weapon that could change the course of the war. "Excellently plotted and paced, with a lively cast, real and fictional." The London Times (Book of the Month) Berlin Red is the seveneth and final novel in this "gripping series of literary thrillers" ( Booklist ) by Sam Eastland, the nom de plume of acclaimed novelist and memoirist Paul Watkins. The previous Inspector Pekkala suspense novels published by Opus were Red Icon and The Beast in the Red Forest .


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(Book). April 1945 Inspector Pekkala is in a race against time as he heads to Berlin to capture the plans for a secret weapon that could change the course of the war. "Excellently plotted and paced, with a lively cast, real and fictional." The London Times (Book of the Month) Berlin Red is the seveneth and final novel in this "gripping series of literary thrillers" ( Bookl (Book). April 1945 Inspector Pekkala is in a race against time as he heads to Berlin to capture the plans for a secret weapon that could change the course of the war. "Excellently plotted and paced, with a lively cast, real and fictional." The London Times (Book of the Month) Berlin Red is the seveneth and final novel in this "gripping series of literary thrillers" ( Booklist ) by Sam Eastland, the nom de plume of acclaimed novelist and memoirist Paul Watkins. The previous Inspector Pekkala suspense novels published by Opus were Red Icon and The Beast in the Red Forest .

30 review for Berlin Red: An Inspector Pekkala Novel of Suspense

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gram

    Another solid tale of Inspector Pekkala, formerly the Tsar's top policeman and now, after almost a decade in a Siberian labour camp - working for Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. This time, it's very personal as Pekkala (The Emerald Eye as he was christened when Russia was under Tsarist rule) and his assistant Major Kirov are parachuted into war torn Berlin (the Red Army is almost at the gates) on a mission to help the British obtain super secret rocket plans. Much of the book centres on Berlin and Another solid tale of Inspector Pekkala, formerly the Tsar's top policeman and now, after almost a decade in a Siberian labour camp - working for Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. This time, it's very personal as Pekkala (The Emerald Eye as he was christened when Russia was under Tsarist rule) and his assistant Major Kirov are parachuted into war torn Berlin (the Red Army is almost at the gates) on a mission to help the British obtain super secret rocket plans. Much of the book centres on Berlin and major Nazi figures such as Hitler, Himmler and various generals who meet up in the Fuhrerbunker below the now bombed shell of the Reich Chancellery. In fact, Hitler is probably a more central figure in this 7th book in the series than Pekkala, who along with Kirov, doesn't really get into the action until 2/3rds of the way through the story. As usual, author Sam Eastland has done his research and students of World War II history will note his wide knowledge of the final days of the senior Nazi figures and their "1000 year Reich" (it only lasted 12 years), along with details of Germany's "Vengeance weapons" - the V1 flying bomb and the v2 rocket - and how they became a bargaining chip for some as the war came to a close. This entry in the Pekkala series can be read as a stand-alone as Eastland provides background on how Pekkala came to be working for Stalin following the 1917 Russian Revolution.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Boris Feldman

    This is the seventh in the Inspector Pekkala series. He is one of the great characters in 20th century cop/spy fiction. Remarkably, Eastland is not getting bored with the characters -- they keep getting more engaging. This book is available in paper from the UK, not in US at this time. Worth the postage, mate.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ray Melville

    A further excellent addition to the Inspector Pekkola series. Is this the end? Seems like it could be, but you never know! Fast moving plot with intriguing twists. Most enjoyable .

  4. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne Ledgerwood

    Great read Poignant, suspenseful, exciting, adventurous, All around a great, satisfying read which I strongly recommend to any lover of war and suspense stories.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael J

    I loved reading every page. I will dearly miss the Emerald Eye.

  6. 4 out of 5

    AdiTurbo

    An appropriate ending to this wonderful series. Although I didn't like the author's growing tendency over the last three books to delve into unnecessary side-stories for negligible characters, the main plotline was great and very compelling. I also wish Kirov's character had been a little bit more strongly-felt in this last novel before we have to say goodbye to him instead of mostly following Pekkala around throughout it, but still, this is a good read with a satisfying ending, a treat for the An appropriate ending to this wonderful series. Although I didn't like the author's growing tendency over the last three books to delve into unnecessary side-stories for negligible characters, the main plotline was great and very compelling. I also wish Kirov's character had been a little bit more strongly-felt in this last novel before we have to say goodbye to him instead of mostly following Pekkala around throughout it, but still, this is a good read with a satisfying ending, a treat for the readers who stuck with the characters throughout the seven books. Thank you, Eastland, I'm now going to try some of your other novels under your real name, Paul Watkins.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elgyn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I can't breathe :-) This time, for Pekkala, it is personal. But Pekkala almost wasn’t there.:-( Well, if it had to end, this is a great way how to do it. Circle is complete. But I do still hope there will be another book about Pekkala. I do love this book but I have some things to say. I guess that Sam Eastland needs more beta readers. - I love a new scene “How I met Ilya” but where exactly was that photo during his time in Siberia? - The Red Coffin, page 53: “He had not actually gone to the party I can't breathe :-) This time, for Pekkala, it is personal. But Pekkala almost wasn’t there.:-( Well, if it had to end, this is a great way how to do it. Circle is complete. But I do still hope there will be another book about Pekkala. I do love this book but I have some things to say. I guess that Sam Eastland needs more beta readers. - I love a new scene “How I met Ilya” but where exactly was that photo during his time in Siberia? - The Red Coffin, page 53: “He had not actually gone to the party, but saw it on his way home from the station.” Berlin Red, page 6: “He had been passing by on his way from a meeting with the Tsar at the Alexander Palace.” - In The Red Coffin he was “the Tsar’s new detective”, not a legend as he is in Berlin Red . - Pekkala was sending money to Ilya for years. And he didn’t know the truth about her husband and child? - He sent money via bank in Moscow? Not in Finland? The Red Coffin: “The funds are channeled through a bank in Helsinki.” - Berlin Red, page 180: “Madam Obolenskaya had always taken good take of Lilya” Really? Siberian Red, page 118: “Probably, the headmistress had kept her behind again to discuss (…) not in spite of the fact that she must have known it way Ilya’s birthday (…) The headmistress had done things like this before and now Pekkala clenched his fist upon the tablecloth as he silently cursed the old woman. - Berlin Red, page 182: “Rada Obolenskaya refused to leave and Red Guards burned the school, with her inside it.” The Red Coffin, page 218 “She was shot by Red Guards the day before I left Tsarskoye Selo.” - Pekkala was 4745? Not 4745-P? - Does he eat slowly (book 1, 7) or fast (book 2-6)? - Tsar’s Finnish regiment is now Chevalier Guard? - Twenty-five sentence? Not thirty? - I know that Ilya isn’t a feminine given name but change character’s name after six books? It’s very very odd. - I guess that Pekkala couldn’t know what will happen to Kirov in Moscow. I’d suppose that Stalin let him shoot without hesitation. nb, I have never liked Ilya. I still guess that Pekkala should get somebody else. Anybody else.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Roger Scherping

    Clearly one of the best books I've read all year. The characters are deep and real, the plot was exciting and realistic, and I loved the historical backdrop. A very good book. I'll read more. My only complaint: horrible editing! Misspellings, improper indentations, and two characters speaking on the same line. All of those mistakes briefly took me out of the story every time they happened. Clearly one of the best books I've read all year. The characters are deep and real, the plot was exciting and realistic, and I loved the historical backdrop. A very good book. I'll read more. My only complaint: horrible editing! Misspellings, improper indentations, and two characters speaking on the same line. All of those mistakes briefly took me out of the story every time they happened.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Vikas Datta

    Approached this with a sense of trepidation since it seemed to have a curious air of finality to it - and it does, while being one of the most expansive of all with events taking a full circle... a brilliant portrayal of Hitler and Stalin comes over as most sinister - and complex

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cletus Lee

    It looks like the end of the series. This book was short. Too short. I hope there are more from "Sam Eastland" It looks like the end of the series. This book was short. Too short. I hope there are more from "Sam Eastland"

  11. 4 out of 5

    André Rodenburg

    A gripping tale of parallel lives - two inspectors, Pekkala and Hunyadi, both separated from their loved ones, reluctantly working for Stalin and Hitler respectively, bound to meet in Berlin during the final days of the Second World War in Europe. There are action and melancholic scenes, grim as well as humorous events. I can see how it could be made into an entertaining movie or tv series if anyone has kept the props and wardrobe of Downfall, Enigma and Death of Stalin. For the readers of espio A gripping tale of parallel lives - two inspectors, Pekkala and Hunyadi, both separated from their loved ones, reluctantly working for Stalin and Hitler respectively, bound to meet in Berlin during the final days of the Second World War in Europe. There are action and melancholic scenes, grim as well as humorous events. I can see how it could be made into an entertaining movie or tv series if anyone has kept the props and wardrobe of Downfall, Enigma and Death of Stalin. For the readers of espionage literature, there are a few Easter Eggs referring to the novels of John le Carré and Orson Scott Card - and maybe some others I missed. Nevertheless there are some curious mistakes (apart from misspelling German words like Fraülein or Volksturm) that could be just sloppy editing, but you’d almost suspect it’s a trail of errors (not essential to the plot) that could be just another clue or code hidden in the text: - a Danish prize cow on the island of Bornholm wearing a tag with German wording: “beste Kuh” in stead of “bedste ko” (Denmark was occupied by Nazi Germany at the time, but they didn’t impose their language in everyday life); - a German defector called Luther Strohmeyer (it would be very uncommon to turn last names into Christian names in Germany in that period, although maybe some boy is named Luther for Dr King or the Idris Elba character today) - a policeman leafing though a girlie magazine called Youth (that title existed, but Jugend was an artsy publication that gave its name to the German version of Art Nouveau or Liberty-style, it had been discontinued at the outbreak of war - however the nazis did allow other magazines of „Freikörperkultur“) - a man climbing up a Flak tower in Charlottenburg near the Zoo, west of Berlin centre, but looking down from the top over the Friedrichshain cemetery which is on the east side of the city (there were such towers in both places); - parts for German V2-missiles being made in Sovietsk on the Lithuanian border - which is the post-war name of the town since it became annexed by Russia, but it was called Tilsit when it was part of East-Prussia (possibly the author used a post-war map, but it remains curious that the novel starts in an all-night eatery called the Café Tilsit in Moscow, so Eastland must have been aware of the name when he wrote this).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    Berlin is rubble, Hitler is living in an underground bunker and getting more and more deranged and paranoid. For the first time since trying to develop a controlled rocket launching system, it appears success has come. A rocket at its launch leaves a trail of vapor that looks like shimmering diamond dust and one of its designers becomes hopeful that perhaps the tide of defeat may yet be turned. At the same time that word is being passed through the upper echelons of Nazi command, a British intel Berlin is rubble, Hitler is living in an underground bunker and getting more and more deranged and paranoid. For the first time since trying to develop a controlled rocket launching system, it appears success has come. A rocket at its launch leaves a trail of vapor that looks like shimmering diamond dust and one of its designers becomes hopeful that perhaps the tide of defeat may yet be turned. At the same time that word is being passed through the upper echelons of Nazi command, a British intelligence agent arrives at Stalin's office asking for assistance in locating and removing a British agent from Berlin. Stalin has just the man-Pekkala, The Emerald Eye. He is sure the Inspector will be willing to take on the task, since the agent in question is the long lost love of his life, Lilya. Stalin sends Kirov as well since Lilya has the plans for the rocket system and he would like them, too. While Kirov and Pekkala are largely absent from the narrative, the tension and anxiety of Hitler's underlings, the Allied bombings and imminent invasion of Berlin and the shadowy activities of the various agents trying to make the best of a losing proposition are enough to keep the reader glued to the pages until the last --Kirov's report to Stalin.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dan Downing

    Over the years I have read 5 of the six previous Pekkala books and rated them all with 4 or 5 Stars. "Red Moth" was published only in paperback and I missed it. I have it on order, now, the 4th title in the series; "Berlin Red" is number 7 and the final effort. I might note that 'Sam Eastland' is a pseudonym for Paul Watkins. Reading the present volume was difficult. The problems were with the book, not any amount of curmudgeonly talent I am developing. Most, if not all of the groaners may be lai Over the years I have read 5 of the six previous Pekkala books and rated them all with 4 or 5 Stars. "Red Moth" was published only in paperback and I missed it. I have it on order, now, the 4th title in the series; "Berlin Red" is number 7 and the final effort. I might note that 'Sam Eastland' is a pseudonym for Paul Watkins. Reading the present volume was difficult. The problems were with the book, not any amount of curmudgeonly talent I am developing. Most, if not all of the groaners may be laid at the feet of the editorial staff and the publisher. Every 50 pages or so a half dozen lines would be crushed together, paragraphing omitted and dialogue squished into a monologue. Outrageous. And five or six times one is assaulted by grievous syntactical errors. This in a hardcover, signed, first edition. Should it have been an Advance Reader's Copy? By book's end, I determined it was a 4 Star experience for me, although for one less familiar with The Emerald Eye there might be too many stumbles. Recommended

  14. 5 out of 5

    David Lowther

    Berlin Red is the seventh and best of the Inspector Pekkala novels. It also looks like being the last. For the past year or so I have enjoyed following the fortunes of this strange Finnish/Russian man as he serves first the Tsar and then Stalin.Sometimes the appearance of real people amongst the fictional ones feels contrived. Not so in this series. Apart from the Tsar and Stalin, in Berlin Red we meet Hitler and Himmler, although Pekkala himself never has that pleasure. The plot is complex but ea Berlin Red is the seventh and best of the Inspector Pekkala novels. It also looks like being the last. For the past year or so I have enjoyed following the fortunes of this strange Finnish/Russian man as he serves first the Tsar and then Stalin.Sometimes the appearance of real people amongst the fictional ones feels contrived. Not so in this series. Apart from the Tsar and Stalin, in Berlin Red we meet Hitler and Himmler, although Pekkala himself never has that pleasure. The plot is complex but easily tracked and immensely satisfying. Although the narrative is gripping throughout, the climax is very exciting for a number of reasons and to reveal these here would spoil the reader's enjoyment. The characters are fascinating, each with his or her own personal features that bring them too life. One word of caution. The Pekkala books should be read in order for maximum enjoyment. Farewell Inspector Pekkala. It has been great knowing you. David Lowther. Author of The Blue Pencil, Liberating Belsen, Two Families at War and The Summer of '39.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pam Venne

    Rich in character development and dripping in suspense this page-turner had me wondering about a number of basic emotions. As I read this epic book, based in WWI, with all the devastation Europe faced, how I wondered, could the people possibly find the courage and resilience to go on. What compels a person to betray their country? What obliges an individual to spy for their freedom? What does "freedom" really mean? Does power have the ability to corrupt and be more powerful than love or is it th Rich in character development and dripping in suspense this page-turner had me wondering about a number of basic emotions. As I read this epic book, based in WWI, with all the devastation Europe faced, how I wondered, could the people possibly find the courage and resilience to go on. What compels a person to betray their country? What obliges an individual to spy for their freedom? What does "freedom" really mean? Does power have the ability to corrupt and be more powerful than love or is it the other way around? Our minds play funny tricks on us in good times. I can't even begin to imagine what they must do to people who have been living in gulag conditions or war bombed cities for a long time. Eastland does a fabulous job of taking us there in his "Berlin Red" book. He pushes the envelope on humanity and resilience. It is a breath-taking ride of historical laden names, dates, places, and near events. He is an excellent storyteller extraordinaire!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Graham Tapper

    We are reaching the final stages of WWII. The Allies are closing in on Berlin. Hitler is in his bunker. And someone is spreading tittle-tattle about the goings on in the bunker that, whilst not critical to Germany's fight to stave off disaster, is nevertheless making it a laughing-stock. And Hitler demands to know who is passing on this information. Meanwhile, Pekalla has been told by Stalin that his long-lost lover is in danger and he must get her out of Berlin before it gets over-run. She is the We are reaching the final stages of WWII. The Allies are closing in on Berlin. Hitler is in his bunker. And someone is spreading tittle-tattle about the goings on in the bunker that, whilst not critical to Germany's fight to stave off disaster, is nevertheless making it a laughing-stock. And Hitler demands to know who is passing on this information. Meanwhile, Pekalla has been told by Stalin that his long-lost lover is in danger and he must get her out of Berlin before it gets over-run. She is the key, and she must not fall into the wrong hands. As if Pekalla doesn't already have enough motivation! Another rattling good story, that pounds along as our hero rides to the rescue. But, what will happen next?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Ellinger

    Disappointed The last two books in the series have failed to live up to the standard set in the earlier stories. Perhaps due to different writers? The story is compelling and the build up to the climax is detailed and interesting but the.ending just kills it. All this time developing a solid, somewhat simplistic plot and then it ends as if a deadline approached and there was no time to put in the effort at a dynamic ending. All the loose ends are tied up nice and neat but I am left wanting much m Disappointed The last two books in the series have failed to live up to the standard set in the earlier stories. Perhaps due to different writers? The story is compelling and the build up to the climax is detailed and interesting but the.ending just kills it. All this time developing a solid, somewhat simplistic plot and then it ends as if a deadline approached and there was no time to put in the effort at a dynamic ending. All the loose ends are tied up nice and neat but I am left wanting much more out of this ending. I will miss Inspector Pekkala but perhaps it's best the tales are over if this is the best writing we get.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    One of my favorite series of all time. Paul Watkins (Eastland) has woven together a tale that spans 30+ years, coming to a beautiful conclusion. Or is it the conclusion??? If this were a TV series I would binge watch the entirety in a single weekend. While I am hoping for a book 8, it would sit fine to end right here. If you are new to this series, I recommend starting with the Eye if the Red Tsar and enjoying sleepless nights while you read through the whole series. Great prose. Great character One of my favorite series of all time. Paul Watkins (Eastland) has woven together a tale that spans 30+ years, coming to a beautiful conclusion. Or is it the conclusion??? If this were a TV series I would binge watch the entirety in a single weekend. While I am hoping for a book 8, it would sit fine to end right here. If you are new to this series, I recommend starting with the Eye if the Red Tsar and enjoying sleepless nights while you read through the whole series. Great prose. Great character development.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Radoslaw Bronislaw

    Better than the two other novels from the series I've read so far. I didn't like the overly positive image of the tzar in the first novel, the other one, the Red Forest story was better and more realistic I guess, but this one seems to be the best of the three (I may read the rest of the series later). The depiction of Berlin in the spring of 1945 could have gone further but... I still enjoyed reading the book. Better than the two other novels from the series I've read so far. I didn't like the overly positive image of the tzar in the first novel, the other one, the Red Forest story was better and more realistic I guess, but this one seems to be the best of the three (I may read the rest of the series later). The depiction of Berlin in the spring of 1945 could have gone further but... I still enjoyed reading the book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    George

    After I finished the book I found it this is the end of the Inspector Pekkula series. I really enjoyed this book as well as all of the of the other Inspector Pekkula books. This book was so good because of the way he took care of all the protagonists. The ending could have lead to one or two more projects for the Inspector. Looking on the internet I discovered he is starting a new series. I hope it will be as good as this one.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Assuming that this is end of the series, it has been a great journey! in this (final?) book, there is a lot of recapping on previous Pekkala history which seemed like a "filler" but the style of the writing is SO fluent and flowing that every repetition is easily forgiven. I am so impressed in the way that Mr. Westland makes the hero so damned likeable! Assuming that this is end of the series, it has been a great journey! in this (final?) book, there is a lot of recapping on previous Pekkala history which seemed like a "filler" but the style of the writing is SO fluent and flowing that every repetition is easily forgiven. I am so impressed in the way that Mr. Westland makes the hero so damned likeable!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    Interesting read intricate plot set in Berlin in the final days of ww2 From Moscow to Berlin to Peenemünde, Stalin and Hitler races to own the secrets of minders rocketry. Pekkala is caught between them. The plot moves nicely, the characters are interesting, the Nazis are all evil churlish bullies only days away from their total defeat.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    One of those books that grabs you like a terrier and doesn't let go, great story interwoven character's that keep you hooked right in, think I left some of my teeth behind. Very good narrative, my library has it listed as a Crime novel buts its a thriller really. One of those books that grabs you like a terrier and doesn't let go, great story interwoven character's that keep you hooked right in, think I left some of my teeth behind. Very good narrative, my library has it listed as a Crime novel buts its a thriller really.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christa

    4.5. Good final adventure for Inspector Pekkala. It's the first one I've read instead of listened to as an audiobook and I still enjoyed it. Not wanting to spoil it for anyone, I liked the very end of the ending but wished the wrap up of the ending had some more details. 4.5. Good final adventure for Inspector Pekkala. It's the first one I've read instead of listened to as an audiobook and I still enjoyed it. Not wanting to spoil it for anyone, I liked the very end of the ending but wished the wrap up of the ending had some more details.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    Eastland redeems himself, in my opinion, with what appears to be the final book in the Inspector Pekkala series. I wasn't a big fan of Red Icon, but this one was well done! Eastland redeems himself, in my opinion, with what appears to be the final book in the Inspector Pekkala series. I wasn't a big fan of Red Icon, but this one was well done!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    This is a page-turner. A very interesting insight on the fall of Hitler seen from the Russian perspective, with a bit of an investigation twist. Definitely recommend.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alex Rogers

    It was okay, perhaps better if you'd read previous books of his, but perhaps not. Kept me reading to the end, but not particularly enjoyable. It was okay, perhaps better if you'd read previous books of his, but perhaps not. Kept me reading to the end, but not particularly enjoyable.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    The editing was horrible but it was classic Pekkala. And I'm glad about the ending. It feels like the series is over and if it isn't, I won't read anymore. I like how it ended. The editing was horrible but it was classic Pekkala. And I'm glad about the ending. It feels like the series is over and if it isn't, I won't read anymore. I like how it ended.

  29. 4 out of 5

    John

    Pretty outlandish plot for both Stalin's and Hitler's key spies! A less than thrilling 'thriller'. Pretty outlandish plot for both Stalin's and Hitler's key spies! A less than thrilling 'thriller'.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gary Brooks

    Much deeper and more soul searching than other's in this series. A really good read and a fitting finale to a great series. Much deeper and more soul searching than other's in this series. A really good read and a fitting finale to a great series.

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