Today I have a book review (you may remember it from the cover reveal I posted last year) where half of the book is based during the end of World War II. Don’t click away! I know you may have had your fill of WWII books but The Blameless Dead incorporates an interesting element of the war you may not have known about before.
The Blameless Dead* by Gary Haynes begins with Pavel Romasko and his Red Army colleagues in Berlin. The soldiers find a smouldering Nazi bunker that holds horrors unlike anything ever seen before. The book flips 70 years later to FBI agent Carla Romero and New York lawyer Gabriel Hall and they investigate a series of blood-chilling murders. It’s important that they find the killer soon, especially for one person…
Let me kick off by telling you the aspect of WWII I had never known before. It focuses on the Kalmyk people of Russia. When the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, they took control of some of the Kalmyk Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. When the Red Army reinvaded the region, they accused the Kalmyks of collaborating with the Germans and exiled the entire population. This was all new to me and I found it very interesting. What this has to do with The Blameless Dead, well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out.
Ultimately, this is a story of revenge. The fact that the two parts of the book were set seventy years apart certainly emphasizes the phrase “revenge is a dish best served cold”. Therefore, if somebody was able to wait that long for revenge, you can be sure when it comes it is going to be brutal. So, be warned that The Blameless Dead of full of graphic descriptions of murder and is not for the faint-hearted.
This author is excellent at setting a scene. And don’t worry; it’s not all full of murder. During the historical chapters of the book, I felt I was back in the war myself. On the flip scene, I found it harder to get involved in these chapters. For me, there were too many characters and it took some time before I could really establish which was which.
The author does a great job in contrasting two different worlds but at the same time finding elements that bind them together: revenge, family love, romantic relationships. Yet, I couldn’t help but find the Carla and Gabriel’s investigation much more gripping than what was happening during WWII.
Overall, this was a good read. I was happy to see a new take on WWII. I’m off now to try to find some documentaries on the Kalmyks.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.