Rick: The Secret Hours by Mick Herron
Mick Herron might be someone you know about already, either through his fantastic Slough House series of grimy spy novels or from the equally excellent Apple TV+ series Slow Horses. Never read one? That’s fine, because this is more Slough House-adjacent.
A grindingly dull, pointless parliamentary enquiry in London, thwarted at every turn in its attempts to dig into MI5 over-reach, comes into possession of a file just as it is about to wind down. It details events in Berlin a few years after the fall of the Wall that might blow open a story hidden by powerful interests for 30 years.
Like many of his novels, The Secret Hours is a beautiful little clockwork hand grenade that you can sense is ticking but have no idea when it will go off. When it does, it blows the whole story apart. The view it gives you into a newly free and hedonistic Berlin is vivid, dark, stark, and sharp.
Wonderful stuff, perfect if you are looking to break a reading drought. Bring on the next one.