Where God Does Not Walk - Luke McCallin
THE WESTERN FRONT, JULY 1918… Gregor Reinhardt is a young lieutenant in a stormtrooper battalion on the Western Front when one of his subordinates is accused of murdering a group of officers, and then subsequently trying to take his own life. Not wanting to believe his friend could have done what he is accused of, Reinhardt begins to investigate. He starts to uncover the outline of a conspiracy at the heart of the German army, a conspiracy aimed at ending the war on the terms of those who have a vested interest in a future for Germany that resembles her past. The investigation takes him from the devastated front lines of the war, to the rarefied heights of Berlin society, and into the hospitals that treat those men who have been shattered by the stress and strain of the war. Along the way, Reinhardt comes to an awakening of the man he might be. A man freed of dogma, whose eyes have been painfully opened to the corruption and callousness all around him. A man to whom calls to duty, to devotion to the Fatherland and to the Kaiser, ring increasingly hollow...
The 4th in a series of historical action novels featuring Gregor Reinhardt, this is a WW1-set prequel to the other stories featuring the determined and direct German officer, setting the scene for the character he turns into but being a perfectly good standalone novel in it's own right.
Author Luke McCallin's own experiences of war zones and conflict are evident in the brutal depiction of the front line atmosphere and in the depictions of the effect that war has on men and how they think and behave. The consequences of war and the murky politics and ruthless nature of those in power are the key elements of this instalment in the Reinhardt series, as we see the conscience-drivenen officer trying to unravel the tangle of politics behind the war in WW1 Berlin.
Dark, dramatic, with powerfully presented characters and brilliantly atmospheric descriptions of the front line and the Berlin behind it, this is a gripping and thrilling read that would make a great starting point for those unfamiliar with Reinhardt, or a great glimpse at where he comes from for those already familiar with the character.
Thanks to Hollie at Oldcastle/No Exit for the preview copy of this book, and for inviting me on the blogtour for it.
Find out more at: noexit.co.uk/index1.php?imprint=1&isbn=9781843449744
Author Luke McCallin has a website at lukemccallin.com if you'd like to find out more.
Review by Rich Simpson (@richreadalot) December 2021.