During the final weeks of the Weimar Republic, a young woman washes up in the Havel River in picture-perfect Old Spandau. Bodies in rivers are hardly news in the chaos of 1932 Berlin, maddened by years of war, defeat, revolution, inflation, depravity, and now the Great Depression. But this one is different. Her dark hair is too short. Her wisdom teeth have been removed, something few German girls could afford. And her legs, dotted with suture marks, are bizarrely deformed, as if someone had taken giant pliers and turned them around inside her skin.
Willi Kraus is a decorated soldier and Germany’s most celebrated Jewish detective, thanks to his recent success at nabbing a monstrous child killer. Sent to investigate the floater, his search leads him into a German underworld he hardly recognizes. A princess goes missing, a hypnotist has dark secrets to hide, and a new power is ushering in the tides of change: the Third Reich.