Stasi Wolf, the second novel in the Karin Muller series by David Young, follows Oberleutnant Karin Muller on a new case. Set in 1975 communist Germany, she must determine the identity of a child snatcher when a pair of infant twins goes missing.
I am a fan of historical fiction so when I found this historical thriller, I knew I needed to pick it up! Equal parts police procedural and mystery; this fast paced journey had me on the edge of my seat.
I did not read the first book in the series (Stasi Child) but I did not struggle with reading this one as a standalone; Young is able to create a plot that is easy to follow and provides enough backstory that I had no issue connecting to Karin Muller. I, in fact, really enjoyed this character. I am always a fan of a strong, female protagonist and Muller does not disappoint. Complex and smart, Muller is a “no funny business” kind of character and watching her as she resists and evades the Stasi was truly entertaining.
Young does a suburb job at creating a snapshot of this repressive culture during this time period. The paranoia, the propaganda and the fear, Stasi Wolf has an ominous tone from the first page.
The narration of this novel was one of the most intriguing parts of Stasi Wolf. The novel is told in sections alternating between the third person narration following Karin Muller as she investigates and a first person narration of an unnamed, young woman. There are also sections of narrations that bring us back through time to Karin’s childhood; I loved these sections!
I did struggle a bit with the timeline of the plot; there are quite a few moments where the narration goes back in time. These are clearly labeled in the chapter title but it didn’t feel like there was any particular flow; instead, it felt jagged (for example, a chapter could go back 2 months and then the next chapter goes back 8 months) and I was left feeling confused. I feel like I would have enjoyed this more if the flashbacks would have been linear.
Nonetheless, I will be going back to read the first book in this series and will be anxiously awaiting the next installment. Fans of historical fiction will love this novel; however, if the past is not your thing, then you will probably want to skip it. I gave this novel 3/5 stars on Goodreads!