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Dark Dreams (Commander Jana Mantinova Series #2)

Dark Dreams (Commander Jana Mantinova Series #2)

4.5 20
by Michael Genelin

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The second Commander Jana Matinova investigation set in Slovakia.


The second Commander Jana Matinova investigation set in Slovakia.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Genelin's darkly compelling second Jana Matinova mystery (after 2008's Siren of the Waters) mixes equal parts lust, betrayal and murder. When Jana's childhood friend Sofia, who campaigns for an anticorruption organization called Transparency in Government, is elected to the Slovakian parliament, neither is prepared for the long-ranging and deadly consequences. Sofia's subsequent entanglement with a male colleague and acceptance of a huge diamond taint Jana's career as a commander in the Bratislavan police force, where she finds herself under investigation for corruption. As bodies begin to pile up in Slovakia and neighboring countries, Jana races to figure out the motive for the murders and their connection to a multicontinent smuggling ring before assassins do away with her suspects. Genelin ratchets up the suspense with smooth prose, evocative locales and distinctive characters who leap from the page. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal
One of Jana's oldest friends, now a member of Slovakia's Parliament, embroils her in a game of cat and mouse that endangers Jana's loved ones. Will her competence and bravery be enough to save her from destruction? VERDICT In this masterly sequel to the acclaimed Siren of the Waters, Genelin vividly describes a Central European country that remains fearful and subject to political machinations despite the fall of the Soviet Union. Sure to appeal to fans of Olen Steinhauer's Emil Brod series.
School Library Journal

Adult/High School

A man is killed in Nepal, and seemingly unrelated murders are committed in Bratislava, Ukraine, and Geneva. To Police Commander Jana Matinova, it begins to look as if they are all part of a multinational conspiracy. Various clues, including a diamond she finds hanging in her living room, lead to her childhood friend, now a Member of Parliament. Jana was a good friend when Sofia was traumatized at age 12, an event involving a prominent government official, the same official who now seems deeply involved with the current conspiracy. Jana becomes romantically involved with Peter, a handsome member of the attorney general's office whose loyalties she begins to question. Jana is logical and perceptive with superb deductive reasoning, putting her on a par with Jeffery Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme and Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta. Genelin's characters are true to life, and the story is well crafted, with all the twists and turns of the best detective fiction. The sometimes-stilted writing style causes the story to read like a translation at times, which adds positively to the Eastern European ambience. Jana's forays into Ukraine and Austria from Bratislava, where most of the novel takes place, ring true culturally and geographically. Teens will especially relate to the friendship thread as well as to the romance, and of course to the element of danger.-Ellen Bell, Amador Valley High School, Pleasanton, CA

Kirkus Reviews
A timely reminder why it's not a good idea to have an affair with a married politician while you are up for reelection. Slovakian anti-corruption campaigner Sofia wants desperately to reestablish her romance with Ivan Boryda, the deputy prime minister who's gone back to his wife. Soon after Sofia talks things over with her old friend Jana Matinova, now a commander in the Criminal Police (Siren of the Waters, 2008), Jana finds a fabulous blue-white diamond dangling in her living room. She reports the find to her superior, Trokan, and on his advice hides the jewel. But her apartment's tossed, she's followed and even her new romantic interest, a procurator in the attorney general's office, may be investigating her. Worse, the man who raped Sofia when she was barely out of childhood is now part of the police hierarchy with ties to an underworld smuggling ring that extends from Europe to South America and beyond. The more Jana tries to extricate herself and Sofia from trouble, the more bodies pile up, not only in Bratislava but in Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, even India. It will take the help of a killer well known to the police to bring justice to Slovakia, though not quite a happy ending to both romances. Jana's feelings for her granddaughter are poignant, her love life perfunctory and the body count reminiscent of the national debt. American politics are child's play compared to this seething indictment of Middle European wrangling.
From the Publisher
Praise for Dark Dreams

“Readers hungry for a fresh crime setting will be enormously satisfied with Michael Genelin’s Jana Matinova novels, based in Bratislava, Slovakia, a place relatively unknown to Westerners . . . The portrayal of life in post-Communist Slovakia is riveting.”
USA Today

“The resourceful and prodigiously insightful Jana seems to have no flaws. It isn’t her feats of superheroism that give the story its chilly sense of reality; it’s her casual acceptance of the almost universal corruption of everyone who lives in her world.”
The New York Times Book Review

“A gripping novel of psychological suspense with a truly original central character.”
Globe and Mail (Toronto)

Product Details

Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
Commander Jana Mantinova Series , #2
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Michael Genelin is a graduate of UCLA and UCLA Law School. He has served as a consultant for the US State Department and USAID in Central Europe, Africa, Asia, and Haiti, and he is the author of the Jana Matinova series.

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Dark Dreams (Commander Jana Mantinova Series #2) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Slovakia although they are total opposites, Jana and Sofia have been best friends since their school days. Both have been successful in their chosen endeavor as Jana is a commander in the Bratislava police force and Sofia is a reformist Transparency in the Government party member of Parliament; but though still BFFs their personalities remain the converse of each other. One day Jana comes home to find an enormous diamond hanging from her living room ceiling. She has no idea who or why it is there unless someone wants her tainted. They succeed as her department investigates her for possible corruption and bribery. Meanwhile Jana makes her own inquiry tying the diamond to Sofia and another parliamentary official, but soon finds clues that lead to international smuggling around the world and murders in Slovakia and their neighbors. This is a terrific Slovakia police procedural with the prime location the country's capital Bratislava coming alive in a gritty atmosphere through the eyes of Jana. She and Sofia are fascinating friends as the former is an avenger and the latter knows first hand the harshness of corrupt power having been raped by a Communist official, years ago. Readers will enjoy their "friendship" put to the test as Michael Genelin provides an interesting joy ride of the Slovakian capital and a few other Eastern Europe locales. Harriet Klausner
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