A Darker State – David Young (Karin Muller #3)


A Darker State is published on 1 Feb 2018 by Zaffre and is available to buy here

FOR THE STASI, IT’S NOT JUST THE TRUTH THAT GETS BURIED . . . A gripping thriller set in 1970s East Germany, perfect for fans of Child 44, Phillip Kerr and Martin Cruz Smith.

The body of a teenage boy is found weighted down in a lake. Karin Müller, newly appointed Major of the People’s Police, is called to investigate. But her power will only stretch so far, when every move she makes is under the watchful eye of the Stasi.

Then, when the son of Müller’s team member goes missing, it quickly becomes clear that there is a terrifying conspiracy at the heart of this case, one that could fast lead Müller and her young family into real danger.

Can she navigate this complex political web and find the missing boy, before it’s too late?

Previously in the series

Stasi Child by David Young

Stasi Wolf by David Young



My thoughts

David Young’s award winning Eastern German historical series returns with a very welcome, brand new instalment. For anyone who does not remember the cold war years, this is your chance to get behind the iron curtain and to discover a different era. 1976 communist Eastern Germany. This was when Germany was divided and half of it was enclosed behind a wall. Young has made this era his own.

Karin Muller returns in A Darker State (which follows on beautifully from Stasi Child and Stasi Wolf).

The story begins with an unexpected promotion for Muller. Muller returns from maternity leave to a new job as Major within the People’s Police. Her old deputy, Werner Tilner follows her. A promotion should mean that Muller has more power and self determination in the police. However we are in Eastern Germany and it’s 1976. This means her every breath is watched by the Stasi, the official state security for the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Big Brother is watching, taking note and is ready to pounce. A cold war surveillance state. Brutal and terrifying. Your neighbour could be reporting you. Your family could be spying on you.

Muller and her small murder squad team of Tilner and Schmidt, get a brand new case to focus on. The body of a teenage boy is discovered, who appears to have been asphyxiated. Very quickly, there is pressure from the Stasi to stop investigating and to cover up the murder. Within Muller’s team, Schmidt is struggling with the disappearance of his eighteen year old son. It appears that these two cases are connected. Will Muller manage to piece the clues together to trace Schmidt’s son? Will the Stasi allow her to get to the truth?

Once again, I am full of admiration for David Young and the world he creates in A Darker State. It feels very real and exciting. From the vans watching Muller to the hidden microphones in her flat, we really understand this is a dangerous time, Careless talk costs lives. Muller is happy to live in this system. She sees the flaws, as well as the positive side. The country is as corrupt as any other. She pays the price for independent thinking and for not following the rules. The Stasi do not trust her. In this system, trust is in short supply.

Young gives us a story with a fascinating modern twist. It echoes back to the darker side of German history. This is a murder mystery, in a dark land of fear. This is the third story for Muller. The writing is as powerful as ever. The atmosphere, as intriguing and chilling, as you could imagine. The authenticity shines through, from the author’s intricate research and attention to detail. This series goes from strength to strength.

Tremendous, thrilling and ever so moreish.

Highly recommended.




About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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1 Response to A Darker State – David Young (Karin Muller #3)

  1. MarinaSofia says:

    Can NOT wait to read this – I’ve been a fan of this series since the very beginning!

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