Title: A Darker State
Author: David Young
Page Count/Review Word Count: 376
Disclaimer: While I am to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.
This book is the third book in Young’s Karen Muller series and as with the others, it takes place in East Germany during the Cold War and follows the young detective through another adventure. I really loved Stasi Child (the first book) and quite liked Stasi Wolf (the second), and I guess that trend has continued into this one, the third.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. The story was fine, but it just wasn’t as engaging as the others and there was a lot of back story to try to remember. On top of that, the story itself mainly focuses on medical trials on homosexuals and we repeatedly have people’s sexuality revealed as a plot twist. It’s not that it’s handled insensitively or anything, it’s just that I’m not so sure it’s necessary. It seemed as though all of the gay characters were only in it so they could die.
I should clarify here that perhaps it’s just me as a reader and that I’m starting to grow tired of Muller’s world. I feel a little bit as though the worldbuilding that made the first one such a great read has now started to make the stories feel a little claustrophobic. Where the others gripped me and dragged me in, I feel like I just sort of floated through the story without actually being engaged with it.
Still, I am glad that I read it and I imagine I’ll continue with the series when the next books come out. Young has signed on for two more and the next one is supposed to take a darker turn, which should be good. That said, I wouldn’t recommend starting out the series with this one because Stasi Child was fantastic and it’s also the first one in the series. Grab that instead and if you get to this one and you’re still enjoying it then you’ll probably want to grab it anyway.
I just hope that the next one is on par with the first one. Guess we’ll see.