Four women work at the Danish Centre for Genocide Studies. When two of them start receiving death threats, they suspect they are being stalked by Mirko Zigic, a Bosnian torturer and war criminal. But perhaps he is not the person behind the threats - it could be someone in their very midst. Much of the drama created revolves not only around the scary sense of a killer prowling in the shadows but also around the manipulative games being played between the women in the office as they come under pressure and turn on each other ...
Four women work at the Danish Centre for Genocide Studies. When two of them start receiving death threats, they suspect they are being stalked by Mirko Zigic, a Bosnian torturer and war criminal. But perhaps he is not the person behind the threats - it could be someone in their very midst. Much of the drama created revolves not only around the scary sense of a killer prowling in the shadows but also around the manipulative games being played between the women in the office as they come under pressure and turn on each other. The irony is that these betrayals and persecutions are taking place amongst professionals who daily analyse cases of appalling cruelty. Now and again, the narrative is broken with extracts from 'articles' dealing with crimes against humanity and the pyschology of evil. Whilst the women apply this to their work with genocide (and the killer), there are parallels to their own behaviour. It's a fabulous pacy read - a real page-turner that resonates with deeper questions.
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One of the best books I've ever read. I was gripped by the shifting realities of the women -- how different the world looked through others' eyes. Each one was plausible. I admire an author who can present multiple points of view through several people's minds and have each one be completely convincing.
I also loved the tough-minded view of how the quirks (and viciousness) of individual people invade the most well intended group projects. I'll never see NGOs the same way again.
I'm buying another copy for another relative!
Jan 11, 2008
stretched too far
Hi..I wanted so much to like this book...I thought the concept was intriguing..however, the book started to drag, and it felt like there were a lot of lines that just felt like filler...the characters were all so unstable that I ended up not caring for any of them...I have read most of the books on the Holocaust cited in this novel, and frankly, it felt like the author was writing a synopsis of those books interspersed with the story, to little dramatic effect...the ending felt like a typical Hollywood shoot-out ending, and it really didn't matter to me who lived or died...there were also some really disgusting images of violence, and I think the author made a ridiculous stretch to compare genocide and the "evil" in all of us, to the petty bickering and office politics of these 4 "loony" women...how the hell did they get their jobs in the first place? Anyway....a very unrewarding novel....
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