As readers, we are accustomed to reading stories of war and injustice from the victims' point of view, sympathising with their plight. In Detective Story, the tables have been turned, leaving us in the mind of a monster, as Nobel Laureate Imre Kertesz plunges us into a story of the worst kind, told by a man living outside morality. Now in prison, ...
As readers, we are accustomed to reading stories of war and injustice from the victims' point of view, sympathising with their plight. In Detective Story, the tables have been turned, leaving us in the mind of a monster, as Nobel Laureate Imre Kertesz plunges us into a story of the worst kind, told by a man living outside morality. Now in prison, Antonio Martens is a torturer for the secret police of a recently defunct dictatorship. He requests and is given writing materials in his cell, and what he has to recount is his involvement in the surveillance, torture, and assassination of Federigo and Enrique Salinas, a prominent father and son whose principled but passive opposition to the regime left them vulnerable to the secret police. Preying upon young Enrique's aimless life, the secret police began to position him as a subversive and then targeted his father. Once this plan was set into motion, any means were justified to reach the regime's chosen end--the destruction of an entire liberal class. Inside Martens's mind, we inhabit the rationalising world of evil and see first-hand the inherent danger of inertia during times of crisis. A slim, explosive novel of justice railroaded by malevolence, Detective Story is a warning cry for our time.
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Publishers Weekly, 2007-11-19 At the start of this subtle look at the price of the war on terror from Hungarian author Kertesz (Liquidation), Antonio Martens, a policeman in an unnamed Latin American country, awaits trial for multiple counts of murder after the regime that employed him was toppled. Martens tells how he was transferred from the criminal investigative branch of the police to the Corps, a security unit, where, unfettered by any meaningful restraints, he pursued the case of Federigo and Enrique Salinas, a father and son who operated the country's leading department store chain and were suspected of plotting treason. Kertesz, who won the 2002 Nobel Prize for Literature, charts Martens's incremental descent into barbarism to chilling effect. This relevant and timely political allegory will remind many of J.M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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