Book Launch (Review) – Postmark Berlin by Anne Emery

Today is PDay (Publishing day) for Postmark Berlin by Anne Emery. I’ve read this book for NetGalley in exchange for review.

I chose this book by the cover. Do not laugh. I’ve been to Berlin a few years ago and have seen Berlin Dome featured on the cover. Then I read synopsis…

It is always tricky to pick up series not at the beginning. This book being 11th in the series of Collins-Burke mysteries was especially complicated to adapt to. But, here it is…

Synopsis

The latest mystery from a two-time winner of the Arthur Ellis Award

Father Brennan Burke is struggling, and he’s been coping the only way he knows how: self-medicating with drink. He’s barely managing, but his troubles intensify when the body of one of his parishioners washes up on the coast of Halifax.

Meika Keller came to Canada after escaping past a checkpoint in the Berlin Wall. An army colonel is charged with her murder, and defence lawyer Monty argues that Meika’s death was a suicide, which is the last thing Father Burke wants to hear. Guilty of neglecting his duties as a priest when Meika needed him most, Brennan feels compelled to uncover whatever instigated her cry for help and led to her death.

The story takes us from the historic Navy town of Halifax, Nova Scotia, to the history-laden city of Berlin, as Brennan and his brother Terry head to Germany in search of answers. And while Brennan will stop at nothing to find what, or who, is responsible for Meika’s death, nothing could have prepared the priest for the events that unfold.

Review

I have never met a murder-mystery that would warm my heart as Postmark Berlin did.

Brennan Burke Canadian-Irish Catholic priest, choir master and school principal. He is one modern dude who can wear jeans and a T-shirt with words ‘give me chastity… but not yet’ and who has human weaknesses galore. He loves his vocation and his pupils. He loves his family and friends. And that’s the warming thing about Burke’s story.

‘Most of what comes out of my mouth is not what God would say or ever wanted to hear’

Family and friends, love and devotion, loyalty and unconditional trust and support. No matter what Burke has been through, he has all these to fall back on. And he’s been through a lot.

I have not read any other books in these series and came into installment 11 where best friends Burke and Monty (lawyer) are estranged and on cool terms with each other. However, Postmark Berlin is well-rounded as a stand alone novel.

A physics professor and philantropist ends up washed up on shore. Father Burke blames himself for missing an appointment with this woman… Burke’s desire to give this parishioner of his her dues takes him on a journey with unexpected results. Unfortunate truths and hidden heartbreakes and betrayals would be uncovered all over the world…

Did she kill herself? Who is to blame – an eternal question.

It all would come down to – payment for overdue accounts…

The author has done an amazing job with juxtaposing family cozines of Irish clan with coldness of Berlin Wall and East/West confrontation, motherhood forgotten and looking after somebody’s children and loving them as one’s own, friendly relations and looking over one’s shoulder 24-7.

I enjoyed this read immensely. I loved the characters and would love to read more about Father Burke’s adventures including his academic inclusions and religious pearls.

I gave this book 5 stars.

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