Death in Breslau (Inspector Eberhard Mock Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Introducing one of the most stylish and moody historic detective series ever: The Inspector Eberhard Mock Quartet

Occupied Breslau, 1933: Two young women are found murdered on a train, scorpions writhing on their bodies, an indecipherable note in an apparently oriental language nearby ...Police Inspector Eberhard Mock's weekly assignation with two ladies of the night is ...
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Death in Breslau (Inspector Eberhard Mock Series #1)

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Overview

Introducing one of the most stylish and moody historic detective series ever: The Inspector Eberhard Mock Quartet

Occupied Breslau, 1933: Two young women are found murdered on a train, scorpions writhing on their bodies, an indecipherable note in an apparently oriental language nearby ...Police Inspector Eberhard Mock's weekly assignation with two ladies of the night is interrupted as he is called to investigate.

But uncovering the truth is no straightforward matter in Breslau. The city is in the grip of the Gestapo, and has become a place where spies are everywhere, corrupt ministers torture confessions from Jewish merchants, and Freemasons guard their secrets with blackmail and violence.

And as Mock and his young assistant Herbert Anwaldt plunge into the city's squalid underbelly the case takes on a dark twist of the occult when the mysterious note seems to indicate a ritual killing with roots in the Crusades ...
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in 1933–1934 Breslau, Germany, this impressive first in Polish writer Krajewski’s quartet featuring Criminal Counsellor Eberhard Mock will please Philip Kerr fans. An emergency call late one night takes Mock from a house of ill repute he frequents to a train car, where the bodies of a 17-year-old girl, a baron’s daughter, and her governess have been found. Live scorpions writhe in the butchered girl’s entrails. The police detective has to proceed carefully in the rapidly shifting political climate, since the Nazis have already purged many of Mock’s colleagues and sent them to concentration camps. Meanwhile, Berlin dispatches another detective to assist with the case, Herbert Anwaldt. The troubled, alcoholic Anwaldt may hold the key to the solution of the horrific murders. 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. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
“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

Library Journal
When a prominent baron's daughter and companion are brutally murdered in occult circumstances, Insp. Eberhard Mock of the Breslau police is called in to find the killer—or a suitable scapegoat. It is 1933, and the Gestapo are interested in using the murder to propagate anti-Semitism. Mock finds a suitable "murderer" but secretly reopens the case. Assisted by his alcoholic assistant, Herbert Anwaldt, Mock finds himself immersed in a centuries-old crime with clues in lost manuscripts, a phrase written in blood in an ancient Persian language, and a high-class brothel (with which Mock is well acquainted). VERDICT In the first of four planned volumes, Inspector Mock does not stand out among the characters until after the climax. Despite the lack of a charismatic head detective, this is an intricate crime novel at its best. Readers interested in erotic noir and international crime dramas will find this book enjoyable.—Jennifer Funk, McKendree Univ., Lebanon, IL
The Barnes & Noble Review

Death in Breslau is the first of four books in the Inspector Eberhard Mock series written by the Polish novelist Marek Krajewski. Set in the German city of Breslau (present-day Wroclaw, Poland) during the years 1933 and 1934, this intricate thriller is also a meticulous and vivid evocation of a metropolis and a bureaucracy caught in the tightening grip of the ascendant Nazi Party and the Gestapo. "On January 31st [1933], the posts of Minister of Internal Affairs and Chief of the entire Prussian Police were taken by Hermann G"ring," Krajewski dryly reports; "?a new order had come to pass."

Sardonic, erudite Counsellor Eberhard Mock, Deputy Head of the Criminal Department of the Police Praesidium, must now tolerate in his ranks Max Forstner, a "small, fat, red-haired scoundrel" who is the protégé of the new President of Police, "the fanatical Nazi" Edmund Heines. Mock, however, has learned that "anyone could be destroyed," and Forstner's downfall is one of the sweetest in the novel, but it must wait. Mock's immediate concern is a murder, weird and foul.

The teenage daughter of Baron von der Malten is found butchered (along with her governess), her open abdominal cavity containing a live scorpion. Other scorpions scurry about the floor; on the wall there is writing, apparently ancient Syrian. With this scene the novel seems to plunge into gothic lunacy. Yet in the dense, tactile atmosphere Krajewski creates — of bordellos, orgies, torture chambers, Freemasons, Nazis, and degenerate aristocrats — the scorpion murder doesn't seem that outlandish.

Sure enough, it is rapidly solved.

Thanks to the Gestapo, the girl's killer is immediately identified, tortured, and induced to commit suicide. He is, conveniently, a Jewish epileptic pet shop owner, but the truth is less convenient and far more convoluted. To uncover it, Mock must penetrate the ranks both of the decayed Prussian aristocracy and of the new Nazi power brokers, all the while risking exposure, not of his erotic tastes but of his Masonic affinity. Mock is assisted by Herbert Anwaldt, an alcoholic young officer recently arrived from Berlin and still haunted by memories of a childhood spent in an orphanage there. In Anwaldt, Mock finds the son he never had, a role that Anwaldt gratefully accepts even as he discovers his true identity, one that carries with it a death sentence.

This Oedipal theme, along with the Crusader revenge tale at the novel's core, might well have derailed the Nazi-era plot, but Krajewski's wonderfully laconic style and his painterly descriptions of place and character tether even the most overwrought scenes to a palpable reality. A Gestapo Hauptsturmführer, for example, is described as "?an overweight Brandenburgian, bare, freckled skull pasted down with clumps of red hair, green eyes, beefy cheeks; a lover of Schubert and underage girls," while Rawicz is "?a pretty, neat little town full of flowers and dominated by red-brick prison watch towers."

Similarly, in a Poznan apartment "?the spines of untouched books glittered and the green armchairs standing under a palm spread their soft insides. Through the open window wafted the nauseating, sweetish smell of the slaughterhouse." What lies ahead, it seems, is already here.

Anna Mundow, a longtime contributor to The Irish Times and The Boston Globe, has written for The Guardian, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, among other publications.

Reviewer: Anna Mundow

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612191652
  • Publisher: Melville House Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Series: Inspector Eberhard Mock Series , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 191,532
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet 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.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

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(6)

2 Star

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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 26, 2012

    A bit too gory

    I found this reading a bit too bloody and gruesome. Didn't particularly like it.

    14 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    .

    .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2013

    What makes a book Noir? My checklist goes: politics with no easy

    What makes a book Noir? My checklist goes: politics with no easy solution (check); complex and truly flawed characters (check); moody terrifying settings that are almost characters themselves (check); a dangerous amount of sweaty drunk men in suits bruising their knuckles on each other (Check!).
    By any standard, this one was a noir as they come.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    Skip this one

    Absolutely awful! Rare that I can't finish a book, but gave up on this one less than halfway.

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  • Posted December 30, 2012

    Not Highly Recommended

    Very simple reading, just for fun.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2012

    Not recommended for book club reading

    I chose not to finish this book and I'm currently over half way. Started skipping paragraphs as the detail is not even relevent to the story. And I'm not even referencing all the alluded sex/orgies going on. Avid reader and rarely do not finish a book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2012

    sucky

    U

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2013

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    Posted October 2, 2013

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    Posted December 4, 2012

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    Posted November 16, 2012

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    Posted November 15, 2012

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    Posted January 24, 2013

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    Posted December 14, 2012

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    Posted November 6, 2012

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