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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Review: STASI CHILD, David Young

"A dark, tense background... Filled with corruption and violence, this is a gripping thriller"


East Berlin, 1975. When Oberleutnant Karin Muller is called to investigate a teenage girl's body at the foot of the Wall, she imagines she's seen it all before. But when she arrives she realises this is a death like no other. It seems the girl was trying to escape - but from the West. Muller is a member of the People's Police, but in East Germany her power only stretches so far. The Stasi want her to discover the identity of the girl, but assure her the case is otherwise closed - and strongly discourage her from asking questions. The evidence doesn't add up, and it soon becomes clear the crime scene has been staged. But this is not a regime that tolerates a curious mind, and Muller doesn't realise that the trail she's following will lead her dangerously close to home ...

Stasi Child is David Young's brilliant and page-turning debut novel.


Not my usual cup of tea, a story set in 1975, back when Berlin was divided into East and West… But from the start it was obvious that this wasn’t a boring rehash of history, and I was soon sucked in. The body of a young woman is found beside the Wall (or Anti Fascist Protection Barrier as the East Germans authorities called it) and it looks as though she’s been shot trying to cross the border. But she wasn’t trying to get out of East Germany – by the looks of it, she was trying to get in.

Trying to figure out why anyone would want to do that, and solve the murder, is Karin Müller, a Lieutenant in the Criminal Police (or Kripo).

Author David Young captures the claustrophobic atmosphere of the communist regime, where everyone is under constant scrutiny and could be arrested any moment for not sharing the views of the government. It creates a dark, tense backdrop for the investigation into the murder.

Filled with corruption, and violence, this is a gripping thriller, with an exciting end that will have you ripping through its pages.

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