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The Second Son (2011)

by Jonathan Rabb(Favorite Author)
3.67 of 5 Votes: 1
0374299137 (ISBN13: 9780374299132)
Sarah Crichton Books
Berlin Trilogy
review 1: I am always interested in books about the Spanish Civil War. This book is set just as the War begins, before people realize the tragedy about the take place. The story is - to me - improbable as it centers on Raab's German policeman who goes to Spain in search of his son. Suddenly, Hoffner's Jewish mother comes to haunt him - and his son who has fully embraced his Judaism by marrying a Jewish woman. So Hoffner goes to Spain to find his son, who may be a photographer,or may be a British spy. All seemed pretty unlikely and convoluted to me, as was the love story. But the descriptions of Spain at the beginning of the War are very gripping, as is the description of the increasing violence.
review 2: I wasn't really into the first two-thirds of the book and st
... moreuck with it only because it's set in Spain (partially in Barcelona). I adore most things de Espana, but my first-hand experience there is so tied to the present. The country has changed so dramatically in the decades since Franco died, and it's fascinating to learn more about what it was once like, especially at the time of the civil war. But the beginning of the book is a constant series of conversations among spies in which every comment is subterfuge, a test of the other's wit, everyone is out to get each other and nothing is to be taken at face value. This got old quickly. I have enjoyed other books whose main characters are spies but something about the emotionless way these were presented makes me think male readers would enjoy it more. Anyway, the plot picked up in the last 100 pages and moved from a war of words towards action. less
Reviews (see all)
A sharp and oppressive evocation of Nazism and the Spanish Civil War, wrapped into a "thriller".
"A German detective searches for his son during the Spanish Civil War."
good plot, strong characters, echoes of Hemingway, a moving story
A fitting but sad ending to the Berlin trilogy.
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