“A thrilling hunt…gripping and gruesome.”
—James Becker, bestselling author of The Lost Testament
“John Connell’s Ruins of War is the best historical crime novel I’ve read all year. As vivid a sense of time and place as anything by Alan Furst, a killer as horrifying as any in Thomas Harris, and a central character I’m sure we’ll be reading about for years to come.”
—Scott Phillips, author of The Ice Harvest and Hop Alley
“Ruins of War is a well-crafted, classic police tale set in postwar 1945 Munich, a city that could double as the living room of hell. Mason Collins, a military cop, actually asked to be transferred there, and immediately has to find a killer who is preying on the citizens, adding terror to abject misery. Mason’s pursuit of the madman takes him through a ruined landscape, filled with inhabitants as shattered as the city they live in.”
—Larry Bond, author of Red Phoenix and Shattered Trident.
“A compelling debut…”
“The gripping plot of “Ruins of War” is enhanced by Connell’s strong characters. The complicated Mason, who left the Chicago police force in disgrace, makes for a superb, flawed hero, whose compassion for others is augmented by his own demons. A sequel is mandatory.
—Oline H. Cogdill Sun Sentinel
Lee Child says RUINS OF WAR is a perfect summer read! (see #21)
“Some of Connell’s descriptions are little short of magnificent. The images of ruined bodies trussed to the soaring columns of ruined churches, with roofs open to a bleak Bavarian sky, and the bomb-battered faces of stone saints gazing at the scene in mute incomprehension, are truly chilling. The sense of a wonderful city, ruined first by a poisonous political dogma and then by the inexorable power of a thousand enemy bombs, is almost tangible. You will smell both the dust and the corruption, hear the sobs of widows and orphans as they try to survive amid the devastation, and feel the sense of total hopelessness.”
“This is a fast-paced, gripping account of finding a serial killer…. The tension builds as the book progresses to completion. The author has done a masterful job in drawing the reader into the worn-down, devastated city of postwar Munich. The hunger of the destitute can be felt as Collins is faced with matching wits with this insane criminal. Could the killer be stalking him too? I highly recommend this absorbing historical crime novel and look forward to the author’s next release.”
“Connell’s definitely writing an old-school detective story, but there’s a healthy dose of Silence of the Lambs–style serial-killer horror running through his book. … worth your time investment if you’re looking for a new mystery series.”
—James Barber, Military.com
“Ruins of War has enough pathos and joy, good and evil, drama and moral dilemmas to keep any reader happy. But for lovers of historical crime fiction, like me, this one’s a treasure. I expect the author and his character will only improve with age, and, great news! The second Mason Collins novel, Spoils of Victory is now out. We’ll report on it as soon as we get the copy that’s on order. John Connell is as exciting an author as has come down the pike in a good long time.”