Wednesday, November 7, 2018

#Macmillan Audio review of The Girl From Berlin by Ronald H. Balson

I saw so many rave reviews for the print version of The Girl From Berlin by Ronald H. Balson that when Macmillan Audio had it listed in the October offerings it was a no brainer. Little did I know that it was #5 in an ongoing series but it read fine as a stand alone and now I have no choice but to go back to the beginning and learn all about Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart.
ISBN-13: 9781250300645
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Release Date: 10-9-2018
Length: 13 hrs - 23 mins.
Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart #5
Source: Publisher for review
Buy It: Audible/ Kobo


In internationally-bestselling author Ronald H. Balson's newest audiobook, The Girl from Berlin, Liam and Catherine come to the aid of an old friend and are drawn into a property dispute in Tuscany that unearths long-buried secrets.
An old friend calls Catherine Lockhart and Liam Taggart to his famous Italian restaurant to enlist their help. His aunt is being evicted from her home in the Tuscan hills by a powerful corporation claiming they own the deeds, even though she can produce her own set of deeds to her land. Catherine and Liam’s only clue is a bound handwritten manuscript, entirely in German, and hidden in its pages is a story long-forgotten…

Ada Baumgarten was born in Berlin in 1918, at the end of the war. The daughter of an accomplished first-chair violinist in the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic, and herself a violin prodigy, Ada’s life was full of the rich culture of Berlin’s interwar society. She formed a deep attachment to her childhood friend Kurt, but they were torn apart by the growing unrest as her Jewish family came under suspicion. As the tides of history turned, it was her extraordinary talent that would carry her through an unraveling society turned to war, and make her a target even as it saved her, allowing her to move to Bologna—though Italy was not the haven her family had hoped, and further heartache awaited.

What became of Ada? How is she connected to the conflicting land deeds of a small Italian villa? As they dig through the layers of lies, corruption, and human evil, Catherine and Liam uncover an unfinished story of heart, redemption, and hope—the ending of which is yet to be written.

My Thanks to Macmillan audio for a
review copy in exchange for an honest review

Listen to a sample

My Review:

The Girl From Berlin
Ronald H. Balson
Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart #5
Macmillan Audio
Balson’s fifth in the Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart series is a treasure, a must read case of good vs evil set in the present but based on happenings during Hitler’s reign of terror.
Readers/listeners get a tale of two times as the characters try to solve a present puzzle by going back in time to seek answers via a memoir written by a Jewish violin prodigy that lived during Hitler’s reign. The author uses not only fictional but also factual figures from history both good and bad to star in his story giving it credibility and making it believable and poignantly emotional.
The narrative is hauntingly beautiful and period perfect pulling at heartstrings and painting realistic backdrops like the beauty of present day Tuscany and Europe’s decline during the Nazi regime.
The story does well alone and it was this reviewer’s first (but not last) experience of this series. Whether non-fiction or fiction the history lesson is invaluable as the world should always be reminded what happens when abject evil is allowed to flourish. 
Fred Berman’s narration is excellent, he portrays both male and female voices perfectly, has both a wonderful infectious and evil laugh that he places at just the right moments and has the different accents and emotions down pat that gives the audience a deeper appreciation than just reading would. His rendering of the elderly aunt Gabby is the piece de resistance!

When their friend, an Italian restaurateur invites Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart to be his guests at his Chicago restaurant little did they know they’d soon be flying to Tuscany to look into his elderly aunt’s property dispute with a prominent Italian wine company who says they own the land not her. After looking through the evidence they determine that there is enough questionable evidence to warrant a trip to Tuscany and see if they can gather more information.
Before they leave their friend’s aunt sends Catherine a manuscript to read that she says will answer all their questions. But instead of answers it only leads to more questions because it seems to be a memoir written by a Jewish Berlin prodigal violinist who was a young woman during Hitler’s monstrous reign.
The Series

About the author:
RONALD H. BALSON is a Chicago trial attorney, an educator, and writer. His practice has taken him to several international venues. He is also the author of The Trust, Karolina's Twins, Saving Sophie, and the international bestseller Once We Were Brothers.


  1. I'll have to keep an eye out for the narrator :) Such a pretty cover on this one.

  2. Yeah, I love the sound of this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Sounds like audio is the way to go and great that you could follow this as a stand alone - even though you are going to go back and catch up with the earlier stories. Good sign!

    1. Yes Kathryn I can't wait to read the rest of their stories.

  4. Replies
    1. it was Fabulous and the best thing I found yet another "favorite author" LOL just what a book addict needs right! ;-)