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The Stranger From Berlin

A gripping and emotional WWII mystery with a love story at its heart

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'This intriguing and immersive novel is a real-page turner with plenty of romance and a dark mystery at its heart' Rachel Hore, Sunday Times bestselling author of A Beautiful Spy

She doesn’t know if she can trust him. But she’s determined to save him . . .

Nebraska, 1943Jenni Fields's husband Danny was killed in action two months ago. Now pregnant with another man's child, Jenni is determined to keep her secret from the small community of Meadow Hills.  
 
Max Koenig fled Germany in 1938, escaping the Nazis and leaving behind a dark secret of his own. Employed to translate a historic German-language diary, Max moves to Meadow Hills, but the overly patriotic community isn’t happy to have a German in their midst.
 
When the diary goes missing, the whole town thinks Max is the thief. And when local businesses and landmarks start being vandalized with German graffiti, the residents naturally point the finger his way.
 
Jenni is the only one who believes Max is innocent. Clearly, the diary holds information someone in the town would rather keep quiet. What happened in Meadow Hills all those years ago? And will Jenni be able to prove Max’s innocence before it’s too late?

A gripping and emotional WWII mystery with a love story at its heart, The Stranger From Berlin is perfect for fans of Suzanne Goldring and Angela Petch.

'Mellissa hooks her reader in from the very first page with a compelling narrative… Two unlikely characters connect, both harboring their own dark secret that highlights the prejudice of that time that builds to a gripping and heart-wrenching conclusion' Suzanne Kelman, author of Under a Sky on Fire
 
'I love historical fiction that takes a period we think we know, and finds an unexplored element - this is an intriguing glimpse into smalltown America in WWII, wrapped up in a thoroughly gripping mystery' Frances Quinn, author of The Smallest Man

'A searing look at the toll which divisiveness, shame, and fear can take on one man, one town, and even one nation' James R. Benn, author of Road of Bones and other Billy Boyle mysteries? 

'[A] well-researched and assured debut novel … both a tender love story and a thoughtful examination of national and individual guilt, shame, responsibility, and healing' Susan Elia MacNeal, author of the New York Times-bestselling Maggie Hope novels
'A spellbinding story about a town secret that might be revealed due to the relentless undertow of World War II… This is historical fiction at its finest' Patrick Hicks, author of In the Shadow of Dora

'An eye-opening and poignant love story'  Rhys Bowen, author of The Venice Sketchbook
 

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Melissa Amateis grew up on a farm near Bridgeport, Nebraska. She holds a BA in history from Chadron State College and an MA in history from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL). She is an editorial assistant for two academic journals at the Center for Great Plains Studies at UNL, and has authored two nonfiction books, Nebraska POW Camps: A History of World War II Prisoners in the Heartland (2014) and World War II Nebraska (2020), both from The History Press. Amateis lives with her daughter in eastern Nebraska. 

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (August 10, 2021)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781398504042

'This intriguing and immersive novel is a real-page turner with plenty of romance and a dark mystery at its heart' 

– Rachel Hore, Sunday Times bestselling author of A Beautiful Spy

'Mellissa hooks her reader in from the very first page with a compelling narrative that weaves smoothly between Germany's dark days of the 1930s and a small town in Nebraska. Two unlikely characters connect, both harboring their own dark secret that highlights the prejudice of that time that builds to a gripping and heart-wrenching conclusion' 
 

– Suzanne Kelman, author of Under a Sky on Fire

'A searing look at the toll which divisiveness, shame, and fear can take on one man, one town, and even one nation' 

– James R. Benn, author of Road of Bones and other Billy Boyle mysteries?

'I love historical fiction that takes a period we think we know, and finds an unexplored element - this is an intriguing glimpse into smalltown America in WWII, wrapped up in a thoroughly gripping mystery'

– Frances Quinn, author of The Smallest Man

'Melissa Amateis's well-researched and assured debut novel explores the impact of World War II on the American Homefront. She deftly explores the struggles of a war widow in Nebraska and her chance meeting with a German refugee, which turns into both a tender love story and a thoughtful examination of national and individual guilt, shame, responsibility, and healing'

– Susan Elia MacNeal, author of the New York Times-bestselling Maggie Hope novels

'The Stranger from Berlin is a spellbinding story about a town secret that might be revealed due to the relentless undertow of World War II. Melissa Amateis deftly uses an historian’s vast knowledge of the era to craft a gripping story of duplicity, ghosts from the past, and the very real fear that Nazism is lurking on the streets of the Midwest. Not only does this story have a true ear for the language and social concerns of the day, but the main characters—Max and Jenni—have rich interior lives which make them rise off the page. The Stranger from Berlin transports us back to a time when American victory was far from certain, and fear of the outsider made neighbor distrust neighbor. This is historical fiction at its finest'

– Patrick Hicks, author of The Commandant of Lubizec and In the Shadow of Dora