Even though hardened crime reporter Hannah Vogel knows all too well how tough it is to survive in 1931 Berlin, she is devastated when she sees a photograph of her brother's body posted in the Hall of the Unnamed Dead. Ernst, a cross-dressing lounge singer at a seedy nightclub, had many secrets and a list of lovers that included top members of the Nazi party.
"[Rebecca] Cantrell's scrupulously researched debut tolls a somber dirge for Weimar Germany in its last days.... Hannah and Anton, a five-year-old waif who claims Ernst was his father ... tread an ominous tightrope as Cantrell unveils the best and the worst of the German character, setting the humanity of decent Germans, Jews and gentiles alike, against the Nazis' raw savagery and mindless militarism. This unforgettable novel, which can be as painful to read as the history it foreshadows, builds to an appropriately bittersweet ending."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)