Berlin 1930. Sound film is conquering the big screen, leaving many by the wayside: producers, cinema owners - and silent film stars. Investigating the violent on-set death of actress Betty Winter, Inspector Gereon Rath encounters the dark side of glamour and an industry in turmoil. When his father requests that he help his friend, the mayor of Cologne, Konrad Adenauer, and his ex-girlfriend Charly makes a renewed attempt at rapprochement, things start to get out of hand. Trapped in the machinations of rival film producers, he roams Berlin's Chinese quarter and the city's underworld as he works ever closer to the edge of legality. Meanwhile the funeral of the murdered Horst Wessel leads to clashes between Nazis and Communists.
Volker Kutscher was born in 1962 in Lindlar, West Germany. He is the author of the enormously successful Gereon Rath crime series which, in addition to compelling narrative, is notable for its scrupulous accuracy on Germany in the years between its beginning in 1927 and the approach to the Second World War.