September 1960. In the Spandauer forest Detectives Max Becker and Bastian Döhl, from the Berlin Kriminalpolizei, find a naked, tortured man tied to a tree. A cryptic message hangs from his neck. When another body appears, Max is sure it won’t be the last. The press dub the killer, Der Waldscharfrichter (The Forest Executioner) and graphic tattoos on the bodies suggest that the victims are Russians with a criminal past.
As more bodies and messages appear, they lead Max and his team to a horrific past event, wounds that run deep in the Berlin psyche, plunging Max into a conflict between his sense of duty and justice
When I was offered a free copy of this book, being an avid fan of books written in and about this era in Germany I was more than happy to read ‘ Angel Avenger’ by Tim Wickenden.
This book is the first in the Max Becker series and is set in the Post war Berlin of 1960.
A brutally tortured body is found tied to a tree, with a cryptic message around his neck. With more bodies turning up suffering the same macabre fate, Max Becker and his team of detectives investigate.
This story has it roots very much in events of world war 2, and the author expertly portrays both the era, and how Berlin and it’s inhabitants are still visibly effected by events of 15 years before as its shadow still casts over the city.
Tim Wickenden has clearly done some serious research and the writing of this book is excellent.
In creating a killer who you feel for, the dark and atmospheric events are superbly crafted in a taut and tense book with an emotional and brooding plot.
The book has some very violent and gruesome elements but the reasoning for these become apparent and for me suit this tale perfectly
Max Becker is an excellent protagonist with some depth and his team also garner interest and feel more than just backing characters.
A story told with skill and a great finale, this Is an excellent opening to a new series, that I very much look forward to reading more of.
Thanks to the publisher for my free copy in exchange for my honest review.