Ageing gay lecturer R.G. Cole is strangled after going to watch an illegal bare knuckle boxing match. He was also due to stage a Wagner festival sponsored by South African club owner Hansie Kriel, whose daughter Sarah was literally being fought over by two of the young boxers. One of them, student Milo Hardy, is also murdered following a trip to Berlin, where Hansie plans to open a new club and from where Cole's protege Richard Helm and his mother Valli escaped during the Cold War. Robbie believes that the victims were about to identify the Stasi informant responsible for Valli's liberal husband's death over twenty years before and sends Sergeant Hathaway to Germany to prove this . The culprit's identity will unfortunately play havoc with Robbie's love life.Written by
don @ minifie-1
This was a truly fine effort in the Morse tradition. It takes a really wise and knowledgeable writer to formulate a plot, dealing with the connections between the forces of East Berlin and the world of spying. One thing that is always necessary (I think of John LeCarre) is to make your villains complex and convincingly normal. We have two levels at work here. One is a simple romantic triangle that leads to people making serious errors in judgement. The other is much higher level set of balances concerning the Eastern Bloc. There is also a kind of respect for people who had to survive under an oppressive governance. Very well done.
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