Those in search of satisfying suspense and mystery will find it in “The Informer.” Just as importantly, they will find a portrait of a society at loose ends, and people who longer feel in control of their own lives….Once again, Craig Nova proves that his writing can be just as moving, just as entertaining and insightful, as that of the finest writers in anyone’s literary canon. “The Informer” is a timely and haunting political thriller.
Similar to what is happening across our country, Nova takes what happened in Berlin, starting in 1930, and brings to life a cast of characters–some honest and wanting nothing more than to be loved, others violent and distrustful while all are affected by the Weimar Republic. There’s a certain mood that runs through this novel–a noir-like mood shaped by notable writing, bringing the reader into a dangerous place….
Many years ago, I reviewed Craig Nova’s The Good Son for The New York Times Book Review, which led to a correspondence, and our friendship, which continues to this day. I wrote that the novel “has characters of great, outward bravery and of heartbreaking inner need”; I said that his characters were “as vivid with suffering and with spirit as recurring dreams.” Well, that hasn’t changed, but I might have also noticed—as I do now—that Nova’s characters are not easy to like; yet, in novel after novel, he made the most unlikely characters sympathetic—and, especially lately, he’s often put them on a collision course. Maybe this first and most forcefully got my attention in Tornado Alley but it continues.
Continue reading the full interview at The Daily Beast and then take John Irving’s advice to read The Informer
Philip Marchand, who writes the Open Book column for Canada’s National Post, reviewed The Informer this week. He writes:
If you want to construct a moody, noir thriller, you can hardly pick a better setting than Berlin in the year 1930. Violence, corruption, decadence, footfalls heard in the night on deserted city streets — it’s all there in The Informer, by veteran American novelist Craig Nova, a tale of sex, murder and politics in the last years of the Weimar Republic. His Berlin is a city where political parties have their own armies, and Socialists, Communists and Nazis battle on the street — as much for adrenalin release, on the part of the male participants, as for political principles.
Hailed by John Irving as “a dark but fantastic novel…” and called a “fine novel” that “smoothly combines crime and politics” by Publishers Weekly, Craig Nova’s 12th novel, The Informer, is available now. Set in 1930s Berlin, this taut literary thriller masterfully captures the menace and malice of pre-war Berlin through the eyes of characters dealing with forces far beyond their control.