Heatwave in Berlin
"This is a startling novel! Berlin is its setting - Berlin smouldering in the heat of an abnormally hot summer and precarious political situation. The von Muhlers, wealthy industralists and bastions of the West German republic, are receiving a visit from their son Stephen, a naturalized Australian, and his pretty wife, Joy.
"Stephen appears nervous, unhappy, while Joy revels in the unaccustomed luxury. For her Berlin is a place of lakes and parklands, theatres and skyscrapers, fine clothes; the SS, Wehrmacht, Auschwitz, Brown Shirts are names from a forgotten past. But there are sinister ripples under the smooth, monied surface of the von Muhler household which she cannot ignore. Locked doors hide strange relics; outside in Berlin she hears Nazi songs, the clinking of glasses to Fascist toasts; she sees slogans on walls. Gradually the young Australian becomes aware of the realities of neo-Nazism; and, more terrifying, she discovers that the von Muhlers (and perhaps her husband) are deeply involved in these activities.
"Heatwave in Berlin is both an exciting story and a terrifying revelation."
"terrifying" - Daily Telegraph
"exciting and disturbing...unforgettable" - Evening news
"Carries an impact of such violence that one closes the book tembling" - New Statesman
The cabin door slammed. Shocked by Stephen's inexplicable anger, Joy rested her head against the port-hole, her world rocking about her as the Tangaratta glided over the oily sea.
Outside, a light from the promenade deck snaked across the black and heaving water where white foam skimmed into the dark. Moist and warm, a current of air from the ship's own movement flowed against her face, bringing neither comfort nor relief. Without Stephen to share it with her the moonless night with its low stars blurred by mist was too lonely, too oppressive, and she lay back in the bunk with her hands behind her head, her mind a jumble of unconnected thoughts. For a long time she lay staring at the cabin door, thinking vaguely about getting up and putting it on the hook, for the heat was intolerable, whirring electric fans bringing only meagre relief.
From the Pan paperback edition, 1963.
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Last modified: February 11, 2002.