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Steinhauer takes a helluva lot of risks with this novel and almost pulls them off. A hyper-original espionage/crime/revenge thriller set in Steinhauer's imaginary Eastern/Soviet Bloc country (smells like a mix of Hungary and Slovakia). Steinhauer has a genius for characters and he has developed many fantastic ones throughout his 36 Yalta series. IN Liberation Movements he throws a couple huge curves into the series. His two main characters are a gay secret police protégé and a revenge-seeking female homicide detective. This isn't your mother's spy novel.
Liberation Movements is sometimes a bit jumpy and the non-linear, multiple POV, narrative distracts a little from the setting, but again, I love to see Steinhauer experiment with the spy/crime format. Whatever points he loses because of its messiness, he more than makes up for because of his novelty and originality.
The narration, however, is another story. It just didn't gel with me. The multiple (5) narrators is only so-so. It really becomes a tad obnoxious listening to the narration of tape recordings (a little too meta for my taste).
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
If you ever thought about life in the Soviet bloc of nations, and weren't from there, or maybe you were, you most likely thought it was a drab, dreary life. According to Steinhauer, it was for some of them, those that bought into thatbought into that way of thinking or were forced into by the events of life. But, there were plenty of people that had hopes and dreams and lived their lives the best they could, they tried to stay out of the limelight, out of government scrutiny. Many led lives of quiet desperation. I don't knowwhat I expected when I started reading this series by Steinhauer, dreariness I suppose, but Ihave found them all interesting including this one. There were many different levels of liberation the characters were seeking. I hope Audible makes the last book in the series available.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful