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Stasi Child

Narrated by: Julia Barrie
Series: Oberleutnant Karen Muller, Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

East Berlin, 1975: When Oberleutnant Karin Müller is called to investigate a girl's body at the foot of the wall, she realises this is a death like no other. It seems the girl was trying to escape - but from the West.

The Stasi want her to discover the identity of the girl but assure Müller the case is otherwise closed. This is not a regime that tolerates a curious mind, and Müller doesn't realise that the trail she's following will lead her dangerously close to home....

©2015 David Young (P)2016 W F Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Deep and dark, this debut is utterly gripping, sucking you in straight from the get go. Fascinating backdrop, well observed characters and a corker of an ending. Superb." (Nikki Owen, author of The Spider in the Corner of the Room)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Derrick
  • Derrick
  • 30-07-2016

Great start, but fell away

In the constant search for new angles on the crime thriller, David Young takes us to the Soviet bloc (not new; Arkady Renko strolled into Gorky Park decades ago), but gives it a little more twist with a female detective. The initial set up of a gruesome murder near the Berlin Wall offers some promise, the forensic side of things is logical and carries one into the story, and the labyrinthine organisational politics ring true.

But for me, it all tailed off after that. The narrator's delivery is a little grating: trying a little too hard, but the main issue is the story goes off into a rather meandering and implausible adventure with a main character who, frankly, does not hold one's interest. This is clearly being set up for a "Karin Muller" series, but in this hopelessly cliched and hackneyed genre, there just is not enough here to tempt me back.

5 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for MS RUTH SHAW
  • MS RUTH SHAW
  • 28-02-2016

Very good listen

I enjoyed this but it didn t grip me... there's something not quite right about the way Karin the main character is written... I just didn t care about her enough... didn t know her. Great performance though from narrator

4 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Dan Rose
  • Dan Rose
  • 05-03-2016

A great debut novel full of twists and turns

Stasichild is David Young's excellent debut novel. Set in East Berlin in 1975.  A teenage girl's body is found near the Berlin Wall (or the anti-fascist protection barrier).  But the question is, who is she? where did she come from? and how and where did she die?  To answer these questions,  Oberleutnant  Karin Muller and her team are drawn into the seedy side of GDR power and influence.

This is a great debut novel full of atmosphere, detail, twists and turns.  It is well researched, with much to offer both the casual reader and those with a special interest in the former East Germany.  I would highly recommend both the print and audio version as I have them both


2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Dunblane1
  • Dunblane1
  • 16-05-2019

Dreadful narration!

Tried a couple of times to get into the story but found female voice both inappropriate for the many male characters and irritatingly banal so am returning this book.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Nick Drew
  • Nick Drew
  • 10-10-2018

A run-of-the-mill detective yarn, lacking suspense

I was excited by the prospect of a detective story set in the GDR and the possibilities for cultural examination and historical colour that this would afford, but this one quickly descends into a set of very obvious tropes of the genre - an idealistic (in this case female) officer with an inferiority complex and a broken relationship, her cynical and world-weary subordinate, an apparently simple mystery which turns out to "go all the way to the top", flashbacks to fill in the background to the case, etc. etc. It ends up feeling rather run-of-the-mill, and isn't helped by being clumsily written and often so slow-moving that it seems to grind to a halt, and references to life in East Germany which seem crowbarred into the text - indeed, there is very little about this story which is necessarily GDR-specific. To add to all this, the narrator, who otherwise does her best to enliven the leaden prose, fails to pronounce some very elementary German correctly. I'd advise spending your credits elsewhere.

1 person found this helpful

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  • James Drayton
  • 01-10-2017

Good story, killed by poor reader

Really and truly, listening to this reader almost caused me to stop listening to a good story. Like listening to Moaning Myrtle.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Andrea Stadtgen-Wicks
  • Andrea Stadtgen-Wicks
  • 09-01-2017

Crime-spy thriller with dark secrets

Murder thriller set in the GDR of the 70-ies. Some of it seemed very cliché and sometimes rather unbelievable. However, the eerie threat of everyone being spy and spied upon comes across well.
It was a shame the reader couldn't pronounce the frequent German terms correctly.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Mr. M. P. Dalton
  • Mr. M. P. Dalton
  • 04-11-2016

Excellent story with a genuine feel.

Many books set in this genre seem determined to prove their authenticity. This however was a gripping story set in and shaped by the GDR but not dominated by it. I would recommend to anyone.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Ann D
  • Ann D
  • 27-07-2016

Brilliant! Didn't want to put it down!

What does Julia Barrie bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I have no previous experience of Julia Barrie, but I will look out for her. Her narration here is faultless.

Any additional comments?

This is an excellent book, well written, atmospheric and briskly paced. The characters are well drawn and the story highly engaging, set as it is in the dark, compelling world of Soviet East Germany. The author describes this as the first in the series of Oberleutment (Senior Police Detective) Mùller. I very much look forward to the following books. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Pete B.
  • Pete B.
  • 26-05-2020

Poor man's version TR Smith child 44 series

Story is a copy of the plot of the child 44 series but with nowhere near the same feeling of living in East Germany. Narrator wasn't convincing or engaging either. Amazon wouldn't refund either so that's an epic waste of this months credit. Avoid this one!!