The Spring of Kasper Meier - 'Beguiling, unsettling, and wonderfully atmospheric' (Sarah Waters)
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Om The Spring of Kasper Meier
The war is over, but Berlin is a desolate sea of rubble. There is a shortage of everything: food, clothing, tobacco. The local population is scrabbling to get by. Kasper Meier is one of these Germans, and his solution is to trade on the black market to feed himself and his elderly father. He can find anything that people need, for the right price. Even other people. When a young woman, Eva, arrives at Kasper's door seeking the whereabouts of a British pilot, he feels a reluctant sympathy for her but won't interfere in military affairs. But Eva is prepared for this. Kasper has secrets, she knows them, and she'll use them to get what she wants. As the threats against him mount, Kasper is drawn into a world of intrigue he could never have anticipated. Why is Eva so insistent that he find the pilot? Who is the shadowy Frau Beckmann and what is her hold over Eva? Under constant surveillance, Kasper navigates the dangerous streets and secrets of a city still reeling from the horrors of war and defeat. As a net of deceit, lies and betrayal falls around him, Kasper begins to understand that the seemingly random killings of members of the occupying forces are connected to his own situation. He must work out who is behind Eva's demands, and why - while at the same time trying to save himself, his father and Eva.
Beguiling, unsettling, and wonderfully atmospheric. A dark expedition across a nightmarish landscape of physical and emotional damage and moral decay The finest thing in the novel is the imaginative recreation of time and place, the bombed and ruined city over which the past hangs darkly, where no possible future can yet be envisaged . . . A decidedly accomplished first novel . . . where the keenness of observation and the rhythms of the prose call Graham Greene to mind Similarly intelligent is Ben Fergusson's The Spring of Kasper Meier . . . the real coup here is the evocation of a minatory, crazy-quilt 1940s Berlin Fergusson has already won two awards for this gripping and atmospheric debut, a thriller set amid the rubble of a defeated Berlin in 1945...What follows is original and highly accomplished The plot is tight, but it's the unflinching depiction of a desperate world in post-war Berlin, conveyed in beautiful prose, that makes this thriller so powerful Fergusson's debut portrays the desperation of Berlin and its people at a time when a murder could go unnoticed. The plot grows more gripping as the reader navigates its surprising twists and turns A formidable first novel - I loved it A powerful evocation of shattered lives trying to reconnect - and a heartbreaking story of the pain of compassion