Shaye Areheart (Crown), Mar 16 2010, $26.00
In 1930 Berlin Police Department Serious Crimes Section Homicide Investigator Armina Treffen is the best cop at catching serial killers. Her current case involves brutal strangulation of women whose battered bodies are dumped in the Tiergarten.
Treffen knows she needs insider help so turns to twenty-two year old hooker Gaelle, who is warned by her teen pomp Felix to stay away from the cop. While Treffen seemingly fails to recruit Gaelle to be her eyes and ears on the streets, Bruno Hauptmann hires Gaelle as a personal informant to inform him of any information she picks up from her Johns. Soon the three pulls on Gaelle will collide with the serial killer being the force behind the crash.
The Informer is more a historical thriller than a German police procedural as Craig Nova provides a powerful look at Depression Era Weimar Republic through a focus on the cast. Gaelle steals the show from the cop, the pimp, the killer and the client with her distrust of all. Insight into her psyche makes for a fabulous dark tale as readers obtain a deep look into a prostitute at a time when economically depressed Germany is in transition with no options except the street for Gaelle.