Paul Grossman has been a freelance journalist for many years with published articles in major magazines such as Vanity Fair and Details. He also teaches writing and literature at Hunter College.
Grossman's first book, set in the powder keg of 1932 Berlin, follows Jewish detective Willi Kraus as he investigates a series of heinous experimental medical mutilations. The deeper he delves, the more Nazi-generated nastiness is revealed, including the hypnosis-induced disappearance of the titular sleepwalkers. As the Nazis sweep to power, the formerly prestigious Willi loses progressively higher-stakes gambits in the halls of power; the ugliness gets personal when his girlfriend vanishes. While Grossman's descriptive prowess offers a thoroughly enjoyable look at Berlin's physical geography and cultural depravity, it can't overcome the story's shifting focus. Also, actor Christian Contreras (www.christiancontreras.com) reads the dialog in a thick "Cherman" accent, when his own natural Euro-tinged English would have sufficed. Recommended where interest warrants. [The St. Martin's hc received a starred review, LJ 7/10.-Ed.]-Douglas C. Lord, Connecticut State Lib., Middletown (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"A riveting debut." --The Boston Globe "Many characters sleepwalk through the murky world of this novel; it's a testament to how endearing the industrious Willi is that readers will find themselves wanting to shake him by the shoulders and tell him to wake up before it's too late." --The Washington Post "Powerfully captures the atmosphere of Berlin on the verge of Nazi takeover, the elegance and cultural brilliance amid the decadence, and the sense of impending doom." --Library Journal, starred review "Remarkableemarkable." --David Liss, bestselling author of The Devil's Company