Berlin, 1946. Everything is in short supply. Including the truth. The war is over, but Berlin is a desolate sea of rubble. There is a shortage of everything: food, clothing, tobacco. The local population is scrabbling to get by. Kasper Meier is one of these Germans, and his solution is to trade on the black market to feed himself and his elderly father.
He can find anything that people need, for the right price. Even other people. When a young woman, Eva, arrives at Kasper's door seeking the whereabouts of a British pilot, he feels a reluctant sympathy for her but won't interfere in military affairs. But Eva is prepared for this. Kasper has secrets, she knows them, and she'll use them to get what she wants. As the threats against him mount, Kasper is drawn into a world of intrigue he could never have anticipated.
Why is Eva so insistent that he find the pilot? Who is the shadowy Frau Beckmann and what is her hold over Eva? Under constant surveillance, Kasper navigates the dangerous streets and secrets of a city still reeling from the horrors of war and defeat. As a net of deceit, lies and betrayal falls around him, Kasper begins to understand that the seemingly random killings of members of the occupying forces are connected to his own situation. He must work out who is behind Eva's demands, and why - while at the same time trying to save himself, his father and Eva.
About the Author
Ben Fergusson is a writer, editor and translator. Born in Southampton in 1980, he studied English Literature at Warwick University and Modern Languages at Bristol University, and has worked for ten years as an editor and publisher in the art world. Currently based in London, his first novel, The Spring of Kasper Meier, was written during a four-year period living and working in Berlin.
The finest thing in the novel is the imaginative recreation of time and place, the bombed and ruined city over which the past hangs darkly, where no possible future can yet be envisaged . . . A decidedly accomplished first novel . . . where the keenness of observation and the rhythms of the prose call Graham Greene to mind - ScotsmanThe plot is tight, but it's the unflinching depiction of a desperate world in post-war Berlin, conveyed in beautiful prose, that makes this thriller so powerful - Sunday MirrorBen Fergusson's The Spring of Kasper Meier is a truly outstanding work of fiction that will, I hope enter into the canon of English literature. It takes the known tragedies of the Second World War and extends them into what was, for most of the judges, an unknown arena: Berlin in the immediate aftermath of war, when the city was in ruins and the rubble gangs foraged for survival. The reality of it, the horror, was visceral and yet told with an immense and compassionate beauty. It's a masterpiece. To have written it as a first novel is an exceptional achievement - Manda ScottA formidable first novel. I loved it. - The SunFergusson's debut portrays the desperation of Berlin and its people at a time when a murder could go unnoticed - Sunday ExpressA gripping mystery set in a surreal and terrifying post-war Berlin where nothing is quite what it seems. I
Number Of Pages: 400
Published: 10th March 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.6 x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.31
Edition Number: 1