For all you ‘First Page Browsers’
ANGEL AVENGER by Tim Wickenden
BOOK BEGINNINGS / FIRST LINES
Berlin, Thursday, April 26 1945
In the early hours, there has been a great thunderstorm, the rain so heavy that it has put out fires burning around the city. The air hangs dense, smelling of acrid, damp, smoke; the stench so thick that it stings eyes, coating nose, and throat.
There’s banging on the barricaded door. “He’s been shot, for pity sake. Let us in! Let us in! Are you there Dr Mann? For God’s sake! Help; he’s dying!”
The people in the cellar look thin, drawn, dead tired and frightened, but they hardly react to the noise above.
“I must go look see,” says Dr Mann.
His wife, Gerda, pushes him forward. “Yes go, go quickly, before she attracts attention with all that shouting. Manfred use your bulk and go help Horst with the dresser.”
The two men go up the stairs and drag the furniture away from the door. They throw the bolts and remove the cross-planking, open the door a crack and peep out.
‘The serpent’s egg’
In the early hours of Sunday, September 11, 1960, Manfried Bikart lurches out of his favourite Bierkeller on Gottschalkstrasse in the Wedding district of West Berlin and staggers off down the quiet street to walk the 1.5km home. Turning right into Wilhelm-Kuhr-Strasse and just before the bridge over the railway, he passes the warning sign: ‘ Achtung! Sie verlassen nach 40m West Berlin’. The East side of the footbridge marks the border between East and West, which is open and easily crossed. It’s a pleasant, mild night. He pauses for a few moments leaning on the bridge railings, lighting a cigarette. Taking a few deep drags, he looks out along the S-Bahn1 line then, belching loudly, stumbles off and rejoins Wilhelm-Kuhr-Strasse, where another sign reminds him that he is now in Das Demokratische Berlin. A little further along, the street skirts Burger State Park where Manfried turns off, heading along a footpath.
Even if he’d not been inebriated, it’s doubtful that he would have noticed the figure trailing him: …
So you have taken a look, will you read the book?
Let me know what you think in the comments section below.
Just to give you an extra helping hand, and a short refresher, here is the book’s premise …
ANGEL AVENGER (the premise)
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.
AUTHOR – TIM WICKENDEN
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