A stunning debut novel - FATHERLAND meets Graham Greene in this noirish crime thriller The Second World War is over and among the millions of refugees, young Emil Brod returns to the capital city of his country to live with his grandparents and take up a job as a homicide inspector. His homeland has been annexed by the Soviet Union and they are ...
A stunning debut novel - FATHERLAND meets Graham Greene in this noirish crime thriller The Second World War is over and among the millions of refugees, young Emil Brod returns to the capital city of his country to live with his grandparents and take up a job as a homicide inspector. His homeland has been annexed by the Soviet Union and they are now part of the Eastern Bloc. Life is different - Russian soldiers swagger about, the luxuries of life are in short supply, everyone is careful to address their friends as Comrade. Emil's colleagues appear to loath him and he is utterly shut out. The hatred of his workmates even turns to violence. Frustrated and desperate to work, Emil begs a case to work on and suddenly and surprisingly is assigned to the high profile murder of Janos Crowder, a popular and wealthy songwriter. But this case is a difficult one - its complex skeins lead right up to the Party Chairman himself and Emil has to decide between the truth and his own safety. And the beautiful, seductive Lena, Crowder's widow, complicates things further.
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Good mystery, nice twist at end. Fascinating look at eastern European problems dealing with the transition from communism to democracy? Steinhauer paints a desperate landscape both of the country and of the insecurity and paranoia of the people. There is hope at the end, and a good chance that we'll see more of his astute observations in future books.
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