Historical Novel Society Review of Fall Irmgard
An American woman, Addie Bridges, accidentally finds herself in the center of a tense power-struggle in Rand Charles’ gripping and tremendously effective debut novel Fall Irmgard.
The year is 1941, and Addie Bridges is in Paris when she witnesses the murder of a popular German businessman, Konni Ritter. The authorities order her to remain in Paris, and Charles complicates things greatly by introducing the fascinating character of Abwehr major Rolf von Gerz and putting him in charge of investigating Ritter’s death.
In classic whodunit fashion, it quickly turns out there are many equally possible suspects, many of them connected with Paris demimonde. Charles does an extremely skillful job of deploying one plot-twist and unforeseen revelation after another, all while filling out his book with atmospheric and well-researched details of life in Paris as it passed into the dark days of Nazi occupation. His characters are well-drawn, and his dramatic pacing maintains an absorbing momentum throughout.
An extremely satisfying (and beautifully designed) book.
FALL IRMGARD is the complete novel. The heroes are intelligent and honorable; the villains are cunning and intriguing; the lovers are lovers and they are all participants in a story of crime, mystery, and romance in occupied Paris.
In 1941 France has capitulated after a relatively brief struggle with NAZI Germany and is occupied by the German Army. An aristocratic German army office, Rolf von Gerz is assigned the task of determining who is responsible for the murder of a German businessman, possibly avoiding a political problem. An interesting explanation is revealed at this point and that is the disdain felt by the German Army for the NAZI party with its Gestapo and SS Corps. Fortunately for Rolf his investigation leads to an encounter with a beautiful American woman who becomes politically blocked from returning to America.
Much of the investigation involves the rich cast of characters that emerge from the Club L'Heure Blue, the club manager, the exotic singer, a stock broker, and the murdered mans' partner.
This is a really good read. The characters become real and interesting and the plot, though complicated, is consistent. I look forward to Mr. Rand's next work. He is a real talent.
A riveting tale of many complex characters that twists and turns constantly, keeping you fascinated. Each time you think you have figured out who killed Konrad Victor Johann Sebastian von Stendal der Ritter von der Krumme, a man as loved and complex as his name. and why it was done, new facts come to life.
You will meet German Army and Gestapo, French police, nightclub personnel, smugglers, gangsters and a circle of women friends from all countries. Each contributes to the intricacies of this book and stops you from putting it down.
Sharon (Goodreads Follower)
by Rand Charles
”Fall Irmgard” by Rand Charles,
A compelling murder mystery and love story set in Occupied Paris. During the Werhmacht’s first, well-mannered year, a conflicted German investigator falls in love with a conniving American murder witness in a story that avoids cliche’ and stereotype, weaving romance and intrigue through both the haute and heedless Cafe’ and Cabaret set, as well as a seamy, corrupt world of black marketeers, underworld gangsters, SS interlopers and Abwehr profiteers.
"Yeah. There's a lot to take in here. The author painted 1940's Paris so vividly it was if he was sharing memories with the reader. The characters are thought out and absolutely believable. I was quickly drawn into their world - I grew to know and care for them. The tempo was consistent and circumstance appropriate. The mystery and budding romance are contradictory in the lives of the characters. However, they compliment each other beautifully for the story. The dialogue often reminded me of the classic style writing of the masters from long ago."
R J McGill
"Whew!!! Take your time. Read, digest, continue. Cuz this one heck of a book is well worth it. Rand Charles is a master of mystery and WW2 history, and FALL IRMGARD is a spectacular combination of both.
Go ahead and read other reviews for the synopsis, all i want to say is that this author draws you into the action with compelling characters and great writing."
"Historical fiction is my preferred genre and this one did not disappoint. I really liked the way the book ended. I will not spoil it for you but I would not have predicted it would end the way it did. This is a novel that I highly recommend. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did if you decide to read it."