Lost Kin: A Novel
(Kaspar Brothers #3)
Reunited brothers confront a secret Allied betrayal in postwar Munich.
Occupied Munich, 1946: Irina, a Cossack refugee, confesses to murdering a GI, but American captain Harry Kaspar doesn’t buy it. As Harry scours the devastated city for the truth, it leads him to his long-lost German brother, Max, who returned to Hitler’s Germany before the war.
Max has a questionable past, and he needs Harry for the cause that could redeem him: rescuing Irina’s stranded clan of Cossacks who have been disowned by the Allies and are now being hunted by Soviet death squads—the cold-blooded upshot of a callous postwar policy.
As a harsh winter brews, the Soviets close in and the Cold War looms, Harry and Max desperately plan for a risky last-ditch rescue on a remote stretch of the German-Czech border. A mysterious visitor from Max’s darkest days shadows them. Everyone is suspect, including Harry’s lover, Sabine, and Munich detective Hartmut Dietz—both of whom have pledged to help. But before the Kaspar brothers can save the innocent victims of peace, grave secrets and the deep contempt sown during the war threaten to damn them all.
Praise for Lost Kin:
"There's enough action and mystery to keep the pages turning—traitors done in by a shashka, a Ukrainian sword; a dramatic face-off in Czechoslovakia's snowy Šumava Mountains—all spun out in a masterful story of redemption found within the brutalities of postwar realpolitik . . . Classic noir shadowed by the hulks and rubble of the once-proud city of Munich, a character itself in this haunting tale . . . Anderson deserves a standing ovation." —Kirkus Reviews
"A fascinating era, one of history's deep, dark pockets, observed with camera-like precision—captivating characters and dialogue worthy of Mad Men. I shouldn’t endorse Steve Anderson, I should put out a contract on him—he’s the competition. If you read only one book this year, read Lost Kin." —John Lawton, author of the Inspector Troy and Joe Wilderness novels
"Munich, a year after the end of WWII, is a bombed-out city of despair, the perfect backdrop for this dark tale of murder, brotherly betrayal, and intrigue. Steve Anderson deftly creates a world on the razor’s edge of survival, where yesterday’s allies are tomorrow’s cruel enemy, with the innocent caught in between. The setting is so ably envisioned you’ll want to brush the brick dust from your hands. A great read!”
—James R. Benn, author of The White Ghost, a Billy Boyle WWII mystery
"Bravo! In times of great migrations to the West and all across Europe, Steve Anderson's Lost Kin comes as a timely reminder. This is a hard-hitting tale of international intrigue, forced repatriation, and the bittersweet meaning of kinship when all values—even the most elementary ones—appear to have been swallowed up by war.”
—Ben Pastor, author of Tin Sky, the latest novel in the Martin Bora series
"An excellent atmospheric portrayal of post-war Germany and the complexities of growing international maneuvering during that period, all wrapped in an intriguing mystery. Great read, especially for history buffs looking for a book written with intelligence and passion. Kudos!”
—Ron Lealos, author of Pashtun and Don’t Mean Nuthin’
"Steve Anderson’s Lost Kin does what good novels do for starters: it entertains. But in Anderson’s capable hands, entertainment is expanded into a real-life history lesson of post-war machinations as former allies fall out and the innocent are caught in the middle. This pulsing mystery-thriller set in postwar Germany captures time in a capsule and delivers up the beginnings of the Cold War in a very personal story of two brothers who fought on opposites sides and are now reunited in a desperate bid to do right by one group of beleaguered innocents caught in the maw of war.”
—J. Sydney Jones, author of the acclaimed Viennese Mystery series and the WWII thriller, Ruin Value, among others
Lost Kin: A Novel is the third book in the Kaspar Brothers series. The story of Max Kaspar forced into a suicidal mission during WWII is told in The Losing Role, while Harry Kaspar’s deadly postwar rite of passage follows in Liberated: A Novel of Germany, 1945.
From the Reviews:
"Post-World War II historical fiction is more about mood than about the bloodlust (figuratively speaking, of course) of the war itself, and Lost Kin captures this nicely . . . There’s also loads of action, but it doesn’t feel like violence for the sake of it. Lost Kin is more of a thriller than anything else, which is as about as appropriate as possible in the aftermath of a deadly conflict that led right into the Cold War." —Dwell in Possibility.
"Author Steve Anderson takes his readers into post-World War II Germany with a story that combines family drama with a historical twist . . . I found the characters in this novel to be fascinating. Anderson has created fully developed characters that draw the reader in and the plot is fast-paced and thrilling."
—Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews.
"Author Steve Anderson does a fabulous job of creating realistic characters struggling with the effect of their decisions, fluid characters that slip back and forth between “good” and “bad” . . .
Lost Kin is a novel full of suspense that manages to also be touching." —Building Bookshelves, Pennsylvania Republican-Herald.
"Lost Kin explores a shadowy world just after a world war, where an uneasy peace prevails and allies are becoming enemies. It illuminates a little-known aspect of history, and brings to life a city devastated by war, filled with people just trying to survive and occupiers seeing their chance to profit . . . in a broader way it reflects humanity facing its own capacity for brutality, and the way some reflect on that and own it, and others continue on that path to more bloodshed." —5 Minutes for Books.
Interview on the story behind Lost Kin: "Novel Delves into Shadowy World of Post-war Munich," Portland Tribune, March 2016
My post on the true yet unknown tragedy in Lost Kin — the Western Allies forced repatriations to Soviet dictator Stalin.