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Death in Breslau

Translated by Danusia Stok

Part of Melville International Crime

Occupied Breslau, 1933: Two young women are found murdered on a train, scorpions writhing on their bodies, an indecipherable note in an apparently oriental language nearby …Police Inspector Eberhard Mock’s weekly assignation with two ladies of the night is interrupted as he is called to investigate.

But uncovering the truth is no straightforward matter in Breslau. The city is in the grip of the Gestapo, and has become a place where spies are everywhere, corrupt ministers torture confessions from Jewish merchants, and Freemasons guard their secrets with blackmail and violence.

And as Mock and his young assistant Herbert Anwaldt plunge into the city’s squalid underbelly the case takes on a dark twist of the occult when the mysterious note seems to indicate a ritual killing with roots in the Crusades …

MAREK KRAJEWSKI is an award-winning Polish crime writer and linguist. He is best known for his series of five Chandleresque novels set in pre-war Wrocław (which was, at the time, Breslau) with the policeman Eberhard Mock as the protagonist. These novels have been translated into 14 languages: English, French, German, and Italian, among others.

”Krajewski’s novels are hugely popular in Poland and Germany…we are fortunate that they are now being made available here in the United States.” — The East Iowa Gazette

“This intelligent, atmospheric crime novel, which flashes forward to such events as the 1945 Dresden firebombing and the beginnings of the cold war, possesses a distinctly European, Kafkaesque sensibility.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Atmosphere and piquant period detail saturate the pages, and push these books into the upper echelons of literary crime … Krajewski’s lacerating narrative performs the key function of the skilful novelist: providing an entree into a world far from our own.” The Times

“Challenging and…high-brow.” –Killer Nashville, Book of the Day

“Fans … will want to pick this one up, too.” –The Rap Sheet

“It promises to be a great quartet.” –Globe and Mail

“Mock is a complex, compromised character … Interesting.” –Boston Globe

“Krajewski’s wonderfully laconic style and his painterly descriptions of place and character tether even the most overwrought scenes to a palpable reality.” — B&N Review

“Krajewski’s thriller…will intrigue and compel readers to its end.” –New York Daily News

“Krajewski has Mankell’s sharp eye for detail, but he has, too, a more sophisticated frame of reference that may intrigue fans of Umberto Eco and Boris Akunin … Death In Breslau is a stylish, intelligent and original addition to the canon.” –Financial Times

“Reminiscent of Georg Grosz … Death In Breslau is …wonderful.” –The Guardian

“The city of Breslau is as much a character in this thriller as the parade of gothic loons that inhabit it…This addictive soup has an air of the burlesque about it.” –The Daily Telegraph

“Krajewski relishes the period detail as takes us from bloody interrogation cells to Madame LeGoef’s sweaty bordello … above all you get the sense that Krajewski is enjoying teasing and tormenting us with numerous examples of the violent coming together of eroticism and the body-politic. In this respect, Death in Breslau is strongly reminiscent of Alain Robbe-Grillet’s Repetition… What’s haunting about Krajewski’s book, however, is that the worst was yet to come.” –Independent on Sunday

“Atmospheric and uncompromising, it is noir with its dark underbelly fully exposed” – Criminal Element