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“[Genelin] depicts vividly the effects of old-style corruption on the burgeoning democratic society in present-day Slovakia, and can weave together a fast-moving whodunit populated with flamboyant characters who flit through the European capitals…Every character, major or minor in the plot, just about jumps off the page. Mr. Genelin seems incapable of writing a dull page.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Genelin once again makes present-day Slovakia a compelling backdrop for murder in his superb fourth novel featuring Police Commander Jana Matinova (after 2010's The Magician's Accomplice).... Genelin's no-nonsense lead will appeal to fans of strong female detectives such as Kinsey Millhone, V.I. Warshawski, and Jane Tennison.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Genelin's writing flows effortlessly as he propels Matinova from one crisis to the next.”—Post and Courier
“Jana, one of the more intriguing characters in fictional thrillerdom, makes fallibility seem like a virtue.”—Kirkus Reviews
“This is one of the better international mystery series currently available. Make sure to suggest it to readers who also enjoy the European police novels of Helene Tursten and Donna Leon.”—Booklist
“An engaging read, full of deftly drawn characters who must somehow see through a mazy reality that conceals the contrast of light and dark in shadows, behind screens, and in the rooted passions of the human heart.”—ForeWord Reviews
Nazi progeny, scamming gypsies and an ice pick–wielding assassin besmirch Slovakia.
Commander Jana Matinova (Dark Dreams,2009, etc.) accompanies her boss Colonel Trokan to Oto Bogan's birthday gala, where shots fell Bogan's wife Klara, injure Trokan and miss Oto only because of Jana's swift action. While Trokan recuperates, Madam Prosecutor Truchanova and her minions make little headway despite their access to the confidential Rostov Report suggesting ties to World War II financial irregularities. But Jana, launching her own investigation, learns that there were two gunmen who may have targeted both Bogans, possibly set up by master criminal Makine. While she's at home reading up on another case, the perhaps not accidental death of a Rom (gypsy), a near-frozen waif appears at Jana's. Lonely and missing her granddaughter, Jana admits her. Her lapse in judgment will make her vulnerable to (1) several sets of tails as she travels from Bratislava to Vienna to Berlin to Paris and back again and (2) several attempts on her life, including a spectacular shootout at a German zoo that claims two dirty Munich cops and a Turkish criminal. Meanwhile, Oto is again targeted for death. It seems that he was part of a menage à trois with Klara and her ex-husband, Radomir Kralik, and that trio had been buying up European banks and greedily siphoning off vast sums. All will be clarified when Jana discovers the connections between a hit-and-run victim's tattoo, the dreaded WWII Hlinka Guard and the Rostov Report.
Jana, one of the more intriguing characters in fictional thrillerdom, makes fallibility seem like a virtue.
Posted October 11, 2011
I know how you feel. You pick up a mystery set in a European country and you have second thoughts. "I can't pronounce the names," you say. "I'm not familiar with the cities." My answer? Who cares if the street, city, or personal names are half a mile long or don't contain but one vowel? With Genelin's latest Jana Matinova mystery, you'll forget all about the confusing names and enjoy an intriguing little mystery while touring some of Europe's locales. Matinova's character is caring, witty and her deductive reasoning is very convincing.
Commander Matinova attends a party for a financier politico wannabe and ends up watching the man's wife get killed. Staying out of the public eye, she parallels the official investigation, always staying a step ahead, but always searching for what she's not being told. With the help of an enigmatic and precocious teenage street girl, and avoiding several attempts on her own life, Matinova puts together the pieces of a puzzle that has connections to bands of thugs in World War II.
What rounded out this book were the other things occupying Matinova's life. Besides her major case, she deals with the shooting death of a Gypsy boy and how recollections of her mother's Communist attitude shape her own thoughts. This is Genelin's fourth Matinova mystery so fans should be satisfied with another fine novel.
Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, author of "Beta" for Suspense Magazine
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Posted March 15, 2013
Just bought the fourth book in the series. I'm addicted to this series. The books are well-written, the stories are quite compelling and intriguing, and the characters are well-developed. I love the international flavor! Once I start reading one, I cannot put it down! Genelin knows how to mix story, settings and characters to produce a quite engrossing and enjoyable read! Highly recommended!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 2, 2012
Requiem for a Gypsy - I read the paperback edition. The plotting is excellent. The characterization is interesting: plenty of well drawn and well differentiated characters, but the protagonist is a cool, analytical, morally courageous figure who goes her own way and is slow to reveal anything of herself. Lots of Slovak modern history, but never didactic. I considered being bored, then realized I was hooked. I'll probably read more of these.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 16, 2012