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Hannah Vogel Books In Order

Publication Order of Hannah Vogel Books

A Trace of Smoke (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Night of Long Knives (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Game of Lies (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A City of Broken Glass (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The American author Rebecca Cantrell has been writing for a number of years now from her home in Hawaii. A New York Times bestselling novelist, she has also reached the top of the USA Today listings as well during the course of her writing career. Creating stories and characters that are much beloved worldwide, she has achieved a level of international success unlike that of any other. A franchise that she is particularly well known for is that of her Hannah Vogel ongoing series, that follows the case-files of the eponymous crime reporter. Set in the 1930s of Berlin in Germany, she uncovers mysteries lurking in the seedy underbelly of the city, as she faces crime and corruption lurking round every corner. Not only that, but she must also deal with the rising Nazi party and their nefarious misdeeds, which they’re attempting to cover up in their rise to power.

With the books having run for over four titles so far and counting, this series has managed to build a lot from its initial premise. There’s also an omnibus edition of the first four titles as well, collected together in the book called ‘A Time of Night and Fog’. This shows that the series is a popular one, building upon a world and time in history that is rarely seen, as it takes a journey into the underworld of pre-war Germany, specifically Berlin.

A Trace of Smoke

Originally brought out through the ‘Forge Books’ publishing label, this was first released in 2009 on the 12th of May. Setting up the first title in the ongoing ‘Hannah Vogel’ series of novels, it manages to draw the reader slowly into her world. It also works at introducing the main character providing her backstory, along with the period of the era and feel of it as well.

Building a sense of foreboding and trepidation, it captures the pre-war feeling well and with a sense of accuracy. Cantrell spent some time in Berlin for her higher education at university there and it shows in the quality attention to detail. Understanding what it was like then, she tells of the fear that was growing around that time, and the danger that many people found themselves in. The city of Berlin itself is conjured up to great effect too, especially in relation to the time of the era and period it’s set within. Bringing the city to life it really feels immersive for the reader, allowing them to step into the period and feel like they’re actually there. Working as a character in of itself almost, it plays against Hannah Vogel herself well, along with the rest of the cast too. In regards to Hannah herself, she is a strong, hardened and resourceful individual who has the grit, determination and will to ensure that justice prevails. The other characters such as Anton the boy, are also well balanced against her somewhat more world-weary personality and presence. With a keen mind and an intelligent insight, she is always well aware of the situation in hand, and is able to see what needs to be done.

Set in Berlin in 1931 times are getting dangerous, something which the crime reporter Hannah Vogel knows only too well. After her cross-dressing brother is seen dead posted in photograph in the Hall of the Unnamed Dead, she takes it upon herself to track down his killer. That’s when a small five year old orphan named Anton turns up on her doorstep saying she’s his mother and her dead brother is his father. Who are his real parents? Can they stay alive long enough to find out? What lies at the end of a trace of smoke?

A Knight of Long Knives

Released through the ‘Forge Books’ publishing label once again, this was initially published on the 22nd of June in 2010 just over a year after the first. Setting up the second investigation for Hannah Vogel it manages to take the action forwards whilst simultaneously remaining true to the original. Featuring many of the characters from before it continues the story from before, as it also progresses the narrative arc of Hannah Vogel herself.

With a lot of suspense this time, Cantrell has really taken it all up to another level in terms of action and drama. Keeping the readers on the edges-of-their-seats throughout, it manages to raise the bar and carry it audience, as they’re kept guessing to the very last page. It’s compelling narrative and style also makes for addictive reading, as it keeps its audience hooked with its page-turning quality. Starting out abroad the action takes place on a wider scale this time, with Hannah having escaped Germany to begin with. The action moves from South America to Munich, allowing a sense of scope to build with the story this time. In regards to the country of Germany itself, though, this acts as the central hub of the narrative, given that it focuses on the political situation of the time.

Vowing never to return to Germany for as long as she lives, Hannah Vogel is now living abroad with Anton as her son. That’s when she’s asked, in her capacity as a journalist, to get on a Zeppelin ride from South America to Switzerland and report on it. Things don’t get go according to plan, though, as she and Anton are kidnapped after being diverted to Germany where they’re separated, and Anton is forced to reunite with his biological father, the head of the Nazis Ernst Rohm. Will she get her son back? Can they get out of Germany alive? What will become of them both as they face a knight of long knives?

The Hannah Vogel Series

Evoking their period well, these capture a sense of style and intrigue, whilst also conveying the sense of danger of the era. With the rise of Nazis it provides the reader with another side that wasn’t so commonly seen up until that point in time. Knowing the genre well Cantrell has managed to create an enduring and timeless series that will live on for quite some time to come.

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