The Secretary, Catherine Hokin’s fourth Second World War-inspired novel, is a dual-timeline story set in the Third Reich Berlin of the 1940s and the Stasi-controlled eastern side of the city in the 1980s. Our exclusive extract is the prologue, which introduces us to Magda, one of the two main protagonists, and the Tower House – […]
Martine Bailey’s latest novel The Prophet is a sequel to 2019’s The Almanack and is another beautifully crafted story balanced on the cusp of the old world and the new, writes Catherine Hokin. The Almanack took place in 1752 against a backdrop of the transition from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar and the ‘lost […]
The German film industry was controlled by Joseph Goebbels from 1933 until his death in 1945. As Catherine Hokin found while researching her new novel, The Lost Mother, this extended further than dictating only the content of films. Joseph Goebbels had an eye for the importance of film, even before he was made Reich Minister […]
To mark the 30th anniversary of the reunification of Germany, author Catherine Hokin looks at what – and why – divisions still remain in the country. Ask most people which singer they associate with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the top answer you will get is David Hasselhoff. His performance of Looking for […]
The preservation and interpretation of Second World War memorials of the Holocaust, such as concentration camps, varies across Europe, Catherine Hokin tells Historia. Decisions on what – and how – to preserve depended on the politics and beliefs of those in power at the time. I have spent much of the last two years researching […]
Catherine Hokin’s latest novel, The Fortunate Ones, tells the story of Felix Thalberg, a young printer’s apprentice, whose life is changed forever when he meets a girl in a crowded Berlin dance hall. Despite his efforts to find her, Hannah vanishes that night without trace and it is two years before Felix sees her again, […]
Elizabeth Buchan’s new novel, The Museum of Broken Promises, is a keenly observant exploration of secrets and loss set in 1980s Prague and Paris in the present day. Catherine Hokin finds it “complex and both haunting and haunted”.
It’s a nerve-wracking thing, a series, warns Catherine Hokin. The author commits to a character, the reader buys in; everyone steels themselves against the nightmare moment when a shark will appear and be thoroughly jumped. Well, fear not, Oswald de Lacy fans, this is a shark-free zone: SD Sykes’s latest outing for her medieval crime-solver […]