Malcolm Forbes

Rubble Trouble

The Aftermath

By

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The ‘aftermath’ in Rhidian Brook’s excellent third novel is that of the Second World War. But rather than add to the glut of fiction set in bombed-out 1945 Berlin, Brook charts original terrain by unfolding his drama in Hamburg in 1946 at Stunde Null (‘zero hour’), as the city’s hungry and homeless survivor-inhabitants start again from scratch. At the beginning of the book an American officer tells our hero, Colonel Lewis Morgan, that the British got the bum deal in the carving-up of Germany: ‘The French get the wine, we get the view and you guys get the ruins.’ The Aftermath quickly becomes a captivating tale not only of love among the ruins but also of treachery and vengeance. 

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