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Victory Square (Eastern Europe Thrillers) Hardcover – August 21, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: Eastern Europe Thrillers (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (August 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312369719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312369712
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Edgar-finalist Steinhauer's fine fifth and final entry in his series set in an unnamed Eastern European Communist country (after 2006's Liberation Movements), homicide inspector Emil Brod, now chief of police and three days from retirement, reluctantly investigates the death of Lt. Gen. Yuri Kolev. Though Kolev apparently died of a heart attack, the coroner finds deadly levels of cocaine and heroin in his blood, and a flier in Kolev's car suggests he may have been murdered by members of an underground prodemocracy group. Soon Brod uncovers a wide-ranging plot involving old friends and enemies, all of whom are frantic to take advantage of the situation when their fellow citizens, inspired by the recent fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of governments in neighboring countries, rise up to overthrow their Communist leaders. Employing an intricate story, characters both sympathetic and despicable as well as a remarkable sense of place, Steinhauer subtly illuminates an unforgettable historical moment. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In the fifth and final installment of Steinhauer's masterful Eastern European series, the story is once again told by Emil Brod. In The Bridge of Sighs (2003), it was 1948 and he was an inexperienced 22-year-old inspector in the People's Militia; now, in 1989, he's a tired 64 and its chief. Like Brod, his unnamed country has grown old. And over the course of six days, as Brod's final case leads him back to his first, the government will fall—and the fight for the future may be over before it's begun. If previous books upped the narrative ante, depicting the trials of crime solving in an iron curtain country, this one goes all in: Brod must find out why his own name is on a hit list while dodging riots, road closures, and sniper fire. This is remarkable storytelling, exploring the life cycle of a state through the eyes of political idealists, government informants, and good cops like Brod who just want to solve crimes. Steinhauer also offers a convincing portrait of the psychological shock that accompanies the downfall of even a hated dictator. Totalitarianism may have been intolerable, but as we see today in the countries of the former Soviet bloc, uncertain times can make citizens nostalgic for known evils. Graff, Keir

More About the Author

Olen Steinhauer grew up in Virginia, and has since lived in Georgia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Massachusetts, and New York. Outside the US, he's lived in Croatia (when it was called Yugoslavia), the Czech Republic and Italy. He also spent a year in Romania on a Fulbright grant, an experience that helped inspire his first five books. He now lives in Hungary with his wife and daughter.

http://www.olensteinhauer.com

Customer Reviews

I look forward to Steinhauer's new series.
Jaglean
Victory Square is the fifth and final novel in Steinhauer's Eastern European cycle, and in some ways it's the best.
Mal Warwick
There is a fixed cast of characters and each volume showcases the backstory and present of a different one.
terrinhaley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Utter on January 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
I hesitated before purchasing this, due to several disappointing reviews. I couldn't diagree with them more. This books wraps it all up in a very moving, evocative way. I was able to place myself in Steinhauer's Iron Curtain country as the wheels came off in the late '80s. The author conveys the sense of disorientation that must have been common to entire generations of people who had lived through those decades.

My only quibble is that the point of view seems to shift from time to time without warning; sometimes in the middle of a paragraph. It's a little strange to switch from 1st person to 3rd and back again so abruptly. I don't know if this was always intentional, or just a lack of thorough editing.

In any case, I found this to be a thoroughly compelling conclusion to a masterful, unique series. Bravo!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Albin TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The conclusion of a series of mystery novels set in a fictional Eastern European country. The fictional nation, whose name we never learn, is a synthesis of several central European states. Steinhauer has used a police procedural type approach to explore the history of these states under Communist rule. These books have been generally solid with a cast of recurring characters. This final book is set during the period of collapse of Communist rule. Events in the book are modeled closely on the collapse of the Romanian dictatorship. Steinhauer's plot involves many of the characters of his prior books and reaches back and forth to construct a plot involving events in the prior books. The quality of writing and characterization is solid. The plot is a bit far-fetched but this is probably the best book in this series.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Claire Mooers on August 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amazon introduced me to Olen Steinhauer - the idea of police procedurals set in Eastern Europe was intriguing. Beginning with "The Bridge of Sighs" thru all 5 books and ending with "Victory Square", you follow the same characters as their careers progress and their experience widens. Excellent way to be reminded of the history we have lived thru in a part of the world most of have little familiarity with. As with Russian novels, I made NO attempt to try to pronounce any of the names !!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Grey Wolffe VINE VOICE on July 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
For those of us who lived through the 'Cold War' and spent our childhood being taught to hide under desks and to 'duck and cover', these books are like a memoir of the other side of the coin. We now know how while America was enjoying the growth of the most consumer-friendly society the world has ever known, those behind the "Iron Curtain" were suffering the continuation of WW Two. All of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations, spent so much on the military and their internal security services, that little was left for the 'proletarian worker'.

When I was in Prague and West Berlin in 1968, what struck me most, was to 'darkness and drabness' on the other side of the curtain. You could look into East Berlin and see buildings that still had bullet holes in them and how the streets were covered with a grey dust. The people all had a look in their eyes that was a mixture of fear and hunger. East Berlin looked like a post-apocalyptic city, but the apocalypse was communism. In Prague the people told me they listened to the BBC and watched American and British TV shows that were broadcast in West Germany. They couldn't believe the way people in the West lived. They were especially amazed when they watched Western documentaries that cited the plight of the poor in the West. Even the poor seemed to have cars, food, housing, running water and heat. Now granted that urban housing was run down, but to those in the East, the 'poor' lived pretty well, compared to the average mid-level communist bureaucrat.

Steinhauer has done a magnificent job in documenting the life behind the Iron Curtain in its' day to day drabness and that's what makes this series of five books so important.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Domestic Gnome on January 29, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a great series. Have exhausted all of the superlatives in my previous reviews. An extraordinary achievement that captures perfectly life in Eastern Europe. Steinhauer takes his cast of cops and secret police and spies and citizens, dreamers, revolutionaries, and artists and carries them forward from 1947 to 1990, providing the reader with the full sweep of the Cold War. What begins as a simple police procedural becomes a brilliant portrait of an entire nation. In past reviews I have mentioned Koestler, Dostoevsky, Greene, le Carré, Mankell, Nesbo, et al. Each novel in the series leans toward one or more of these authors - some are more introspective; others, more political.

The books move slowly, deliberately, but elegantly, capturing the setting, the characters, the language, the atmosphere and sustaining these throughout the whole of the series. It has been fascinating to see and feel how Steinhauer creates, builds, and maintains tension despite the slow pace.

Overall, I highly recommend these novels (along with his more recent, "The Tourist"). Stay with them, savor them, enjoy them. Bravo, Steinhauer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pepa on May 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the last of Olen Steinhauer's series of novels about Eastern Europe between 1956 and the 1980's. All five books are excellent. This one might be my favorite, but the same characters appear throughout the series so I would recommend starting with "The Bridge of Sighs."
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