This book is hard to rate. The story is gripping and I have found myself several times too immersed in my reading to be able to pull myself away without difficulty. Obviously I liked it, then. So, why not five stars? I found the story, after all, too byzantine. And although the setting is Berlin in the 1920s, the language and the behavior of the characters seem too contemporary to us. Similarly, the judgments on the rising Fascism smell too much of the knowledge of what was coming and how it would end. Commonplaces such as Brecht (but of course!) showing up in a theatre-café, are additional irritations. And finally, I even decided to take away the fourth star because the lengthy discussions of Theosophical and spirituality beliefs, even if presented in the more innocuous setting of a novel, bore me to death. But the writing flows nicely, which is always a pleasure, and there are several delicate observations. Left perplexed, I will try another book by Fleischhauer in the near future.