Berlin Red, published by Sam Eastland in 2017, is the latest in the series featuring Russian detective Inspector Pekkala that began with Eye of the Red Tsar. That was a highly entertaining book with an original setting (for detective stories), namely Russia at the transition between the tsarist and Stalinist eras. I can’t remember offhand which of the subsequent Pekkala books I read, but it wasn’t quite as interesting as the first.
In Berlin Red we have arrived at 1945 and Pekkala has once again been drafted by Stalin, this time to help extract a British agent from Berlin. This book has the quantity and quality of background detail that made Eye of the Red Tsar so fascinating, and of course the same admirable though enigmatic star, Pekkala. According to the publisher’s blurbs, Eastland is the grandson of a London police detective, so deserves much credit for the formidable amount of reading and research that must have gone into the writing of these stories.
I can’t help forming an opinion of a writer’s personality from the characters they create, and by this rule of thumb Eastland is a nice guy. Pekkala’s mission is aided by a number of decent people and even some of the bad guys have their good moments.