Thursday, 20th September 2018
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A Darker State

Author: David Young Published by: Zaffre Price: 10.10 Euro

Karin Muller is a detective with the East German police and she has just been given a promotion that has seen her jump two levels on her career path. Also she has been given a new three bed apartment as part of her promotion. At first she is disinclined to take the promotion as it means that she will have to deal more closely with the Stasi, the East German secret police but with the new apartment as a sweetner she feels she can't turn it down for the sake of her growing family. She has a partner and two infants as well as a grandmother living with her in their present one bed apartment. So she takes up her new position and moves into her new apartment.

The first case that she is assigned is the murder of a young man whose body has just been found in a lake about 100 miles from Berlin. The body was weighed down but somehow it slipped the weights and floated to the surface. The only other things strange about the body, other than the youth of the man, is the fact that it was obvious that his hands were bound and that there were injection marks on his shoulder.

After a series of tests on the body it's found out that the young man was injected with high doses of testosterone an unusual substance for someone to be given. The whole emphasis of the book revolves around how gay men were treated in East Germany and that how it was perfectly legal to be gay it still was nevertheless a very difficult position to be in.

They get an identity for the young man and it turns out that he was gay but other than that they can't find out anything about his life.

At the same time as all of this is going on one of Karin's colleagues has a son who is also gay and is just exploring his sexuality. He is besotted with a young man in his class and the feeling seems to be mutual but the thing is that this guy has a father who is high up in the Stasi and so is protected from much of the harshness of the regime's stance on homosexuality.

When Karin's colleague's son Markus goes missing it soon becomes clear that it has something to do with his sexuality.

The team looking for the son have already been warned off by the Stasi from the murder they are investigating but they can't stop them looking for the son of one of their own even if it means that they will brush up against the murder case as part of their investigations. In the meantime it turns out that Markus is working as a 'Romeo' for the Stasi, sleeping with a

West German politician to get information from him as well as photographs that could be used to blackmail him.

When the two of them fall in love and Markus tells him what is really happening Markus is brought back into line by the Stasi and told that he is to take part in a scientific experiment backed by American money.

Will he be saved in time or end up like the murder victim? This is the third in the series of Karin Muller crime series and is a great read.

Phil Grimes Pub, Wednesday March 21st

Rising star, David Keenan plays his first headline gig in Waterford with an intimate gig at Phil Grimes as part of his much anticipated nationwide Strip Me Bare tour. Last year he opened for The Strypes and he will be back in August to perform at All Together Now Festival. Now we have a great opportunity to catch him in an intimate venue before fame takes him to bigger stages.

David has already built up a huge fanbase as well as an array of famous fans, such as Glen Hansard, Damien Dempsey & Hozier, who said his song Cobwebs ‘stopped me in my tracks’. Inspired by Yeats and Dylan, Keenan served his apprenticeship in Liverpool and London, before returning to Ireland, with songs that walk a fine line between poetry and prose and a voice that grabs you by the scruff.

Fiachna Ó Braonáin of Radio 1 and Hothouse Flowers says "The first time I heard David Keenan I knew he had something special....a lyricism and musical wisdom that most artists can only dream of. David not only dreams of it, he does t for real. A gifted Singer-Songwriter who has pulled me right in, right where I want to be. It's a beautiful place".

You can find this beautiful place in Phil Grimes Pub on Wednesday 21st of March. Doors are 8pm. Tickets at €12 in advance on 051875759 and on FB/Subterranean Sounds. Tickets are limited, so book early is the advice.


Letters to the Editor

  • Waiting can be bad for your He...

    When the latest statistic that waiting times for patients had risen to their highest level yet, there can't have been too many people that were surprised.There are now over 700.000 people on waiting lists with over 50.000 of them children. That so many people are waiting for treatment in one of the most developed economies in the world is truly frightening. Of course you can take into account the underfunding of the health sector during the economic downturn but it still wouldn't fully explain why so ma …

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