My Debut on Criminal Element

I’m thrilled to announce my debut as a reviewer for Criminal Element! I’ve been a fan of the site for years, and so it’s truly an honor to now be part of the team.


Stasi Child by David Young is the first book in the Karin Müller series, set in East Berlin in 1975 (available August 1, 2017).

This is a Cold War thriller that has nothing to do with nuclear annihilation or international espionage. The focus is on a murder investigation in East Berlin, and all the players are East Germans.

Readers familiar with Cold War novels set in Communist East Germany will feel at home in the setting and tone that Young creates. Readers new to the genre will quickly feel the bleakness of life in East Germany, from the pollution to inadequate winter clothing to the construction of monolithic Soviet block apartments.

Nothing is quite straight forward. Everyone has something to hide and/or some kind of damage that’s a weak spot that can be manipulated by those in power. Citizens have to walk a straight line to avoid suspicion. These threats are bad, but worst of all is the corrosive force of relentless propaganda and paranoia that wears people down. Everyone is a potential informer spying on everyone else, even family members.

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