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I think it is way past time for us to get some good writing out of the Eastern Block. They certainly have the sorrowful background for some soulful mysteries. This is a good start.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
This is the fifth Steinhauer novel I've read (so far) and his best to date. Though if you're seeking light fare or a pleasant tale with a storybook ending, you might wait until you're ready for this novel. I'm continuously drawn to novels of this era if they're well written, and particularly with this book, Steinhauer is a masterful storyteller, drawing rich characters. I caught myself scowling many times as I went through the main character's trials- getting totally caught up in the story. It's a rare novelist- and a rare novel- that can get me so engrossed.
I only wish that stories of this era, and the madness they stemmed from and the madness they inflicted, with the worst failings of humankind on display, were a thing of the past. But as long as power can intoxicate its wielders, it always has the potential to perverse and subjugate. Or maybe I'm just writing this too soon after the reading and it's all too fresh in my mind.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful