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Death in Breslau: An Inspector Mock Investigation Hardcover – September 4, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Melville International Crime (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612191649
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612191645
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,359,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Marek Krajewski goes far beyond the police procedural in a novel that confronts the infinitely more terrible crimes to come.” The Barnes & Noble Review from the Editors’ Picks for Best Fiction of 2012

"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)

"As noir as they get. This complex and atmospheric thriller will find many fans, who will eagerly await the rest of Krajewski's Breslau quartet." —The Independent

It ought to be inappropriate to enjoy reading about Nazis this much. But fascists make good foils... Characters who survived under such predatory conditions had to possess a cunning and guile."The Boston Globe

"
It promises to be a great quartet."Globe and Mail

"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

"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

"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 isn't just an exciting mystery, it's the story of lost Fatherland...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

About the Author

MAREK KRAJEWSKI was born in Wroclaw (formerly Breslau), Poland, on September 4, 1966. He is the author of five novels in the Breslau series, which have been translated into fourteen languages and won Poland’s top literary and crime prizes. Krajewski is a former lecturer in Classical Studies at the University of Wroclaw.

DANUSIA STOK is the translator of the Inspector Mock series, Death in Breslau, as well as The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowsi.

Customer Reviews

I suppose my main reaction is ambivalence, I didn't feel any empathy or connection to Mock or his underling Anwaldt.
col2910
I absolutely loved this book and very highly recommend it to readers who want something truly edgy and way off the beaten path in their crime fiction.
Nancy O
It is neither a straightforward crime story, nor really a story about the rise of the Nazi's, although it encompasses both.
S Riaz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Nancy O VINE VOICE on August 10, 2010
Verified Purchase
The story begins in 1950 in a Dresden psychiatric hospital, where the director is being pressed by a Stasi official who wants to question the patient named Herbert Anwaldt. Herbert Anwaldt's identity and the reason he is a patient are questions the author answers as the book moves back and forward in time, beginning in 1933 in Breslau (now Wroc'aw). The main character of this novel (and the four that follow) is Counsellor Eberhard Mock, who in 1933 was the Deputy Head of the Criminal Department of the Police Praesidium. That year, Hermann Göring had taken over the posts of Minister of Internal Affairs and Chief of the Prussian police. The Nazis had become very active in the Police Praesidium, and an entire wing of the building had been taken over by the Gestapo.

Mock is summoned to a side track of the main railway station, where he finds the bodies of Marietta von der Malten and her governess in a saloon car, savagely raped and murdered. Clues left behind include some dead scorpions, some live ones, and some cryptic writing in blood on the wall of the train car. Mock knows the dead girl and her father, the Baron, a fellow Mason and someone to whom he owes a great deal. His investigation leads him to Friedländer, a Jewish importer specializing in strange "vermin," which makes the Nazi anti-Jewish propagandists very happy. It also solves some of Mock's political problems, and the arrest leads to Mock's promotion as Criminal Director. But it's not the end of the story -- after Friedländer "commits suicide", the Baron receives a package containing some clothing that had belonged to his daughter and realizes that the real killer is still out there somewhere.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By James W. Sternitzky on November 14, 2009
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I couldn't put this book down. There isn't a lot of literature in English regarding Silesia, as fiction or nonfiction. This book (and the second one "The End of the World in Breslau", which I am half-way through) provide a fictional account of life in the big city of Breslau before World War II.
I found this book and the second one very well written and translated. The writing style reminds me of Ian Fleming.
But, I have to admit that these books may not appeal to many people. I love them because I can relate the streets and buildings to personal experiences. I spent two weeks last year in Wroclaw and went back again this year, for family history research in Breslau and the villages north of it around Trebnitz (now Trzebnica). I visited many of the spots mentioned in the books and have my photographs, and 1935 and 1939 street maps of Breslau, to help me visualize the story as it unfolds. My small part of the family left Silesia for America in 1840, but a large number of our relatives lived in Breslau during the periods covered by these books. The old Breslau address books available on the Internet helped me locate and photograph where they lived.
Perhaps, the books should have included basic maps to help other readers. But, great maps of Breslau from the periods discussed in the books can be found on the Internet.
I hope the other books written by the author are translated and available soon.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful By WB, Zeno on February 22, 2009
not by Krajewski, the book's author, but by Amazon (can a bookseller describe a book he didn't even glance at, or, more generally, carry a product not knowing what it is without saying so?) or the reviewers it cites?

I beg you, hypothetical peruser of this rev: re-read Amazon's "Editorial Reviews" (both "Review" and "Product Description"). If you're lazy, I'll reproduce them for you:

QUOTE REVIEW: "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. - the moral laxity of Germany is brought vividly to life in Marek Krajewski's delightfully seedy Death In Breslau - Daily Telegraph. - an historical whodunit with class, a fascinating portrait of a city - Tribune (Labour Party newspaper)" UNQUOTE.

QUOTE Product Description: "Breslau was a German city on the border of Czechoslovakia. It is now, since World War II, Wroclaw, in Poland. Marek Krajewski has written a quartet of novels which unfold the history of this exceptional city, standing on the faultline and crossroads of 20th century Europe. Breslau 1933: the mutilated bodies of a young woman and her ladies' maid are found dead on a train. Scorpions writhe in their slashed stomach - a horrifying image that becomes crucial to the investigation. Inspector Eberhard Mock is called in to deal with the case, and is assigned an assistant, Herbert Anwaldt, an orphan.The investigation leads them deep into the city's dirty underbelly, where perverted aristocrats cavort with prostitutes, corrupt ministers torture confessions from lowly Jews and Freemasons guard their secrets with blackmail and daggers.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S Riaz TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a dark, noir novel, which is both bizarre and extreme. In the heat of a pre-war summer a seventeen year old girl and her governess are discovered murdered in a railway carriage, with their intestines and stomach slashed, scorpion's in the stomach cavity of the girl and strange writing, in blood on the wall. Enter Councellor Eberhard Mock, the Deputy Head of the Criminal Department of the Police Praesidium, who knew the young girl since she was a child and owes much of his career to her father, Baron von der Malten. However, the discovery of who murdered young Marietta is complicated by many things, including a large number of people who have a rather cynical view of the truth. For the novel takes place in Breslau in 1933, where the rise of the Nazi party is causing power within the police department to change hands and those with secrets, which includes virtually everyone in this novel, have reason to fear the truth coming out.

I feel this will be something of a marmite book. It is neither a straightforward crime story, nor really a story about the rise of the Nazi's, although it encompasses both. Rather it is a dark and twisted tale of revenge, mysterious curses and the underbelly of a city in Europe which is changing beyond all recognition. Be prepared to simply go with the flow and enter the author's world. I am sure that I will be reading on in this series.
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