From the Publisher
Praise for Siren of the Waters
“A truly fine novel. It’s filled with exactitude of place and people, taking us into a world that seethes with dangerous secrets. On that treacherous journey, Michael Genelin makes unfamiliar worlds seem knowable, and does so with great style.”
—Pete Hamill, author of North River
“A terrific novel by a man who knows crime, knows Europe, and knows how to write. Siren of the Waters is a genuine pleasure.”
—Thomas Perry, author of Silence
"In the end, we must acknowledge that we have been held spellbound by a master storyteller. Highly recommended.”
—Library Journal, Starred Review
“Solving the international murder-without-borders scheme becomes a puzzle even Agatha Christie would have been proud of . . . Grim but undeniably believable in its depiction of secret police sweeps, hounded political protesters and the compromises necessary to redeem a disgraced career. Not your usual wispy escapism, but well worthwhile for current-events junkies.”
When seven women die in a van that skids off an icy highway and bursts into flames near Bratislava, Slovakia, at the start of Genelin's chilling debut, evidence suggests that the victims were murdered, pawns in a human trafficking ring. After a nightclub is blown up, Slovak police commander Jana Matinova discovers that a vicious criminal, Ivan Makine (aka Koba), may be involved in the women's deaths. The author deftly interweaves Matinova's investigation with the somewhat tragic backstory of her relationship with her husband. Past intersects with the present when Matinova has a chance meeting in Strasbourg, France, with her daughter's husband. From there, multiple murders lead to a mysterious man whose reason for the murders may be more poetic than practical. Matinova's no-nonsense personality anchors the action throughout. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A van crash on the outskirts of the Slovakian capital of Bratislava reveals the mangled bodies of a man and six women. The man has two passports-one Albanian, the other Ukranian-which places Slovakian Police Commander Jana Matinova on the trail of an accomplished assassin. As the main story moves from Strasbourg, Ukraine, and then to Nice, Genelin, who worked for the U.S. Department of Justice in central Europe, introduces the heartbreaking tale of Matinova, who lost almost everything in her life under the old Communist regime except her job. There is plenty of misdirection and suspense here, not to mention details of how people lived in the Soviet bloc after World War II. In the end, we must acknowledge that we have been held spellbound by a master storyteller. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ3/1/08.]
Jo Ann Vicarel
Political oppression leads to murder, suicide and family upheaval. Commander Jana Matinova of the Slovak Criminal Police has seven dead bodies on her hands: six prostitutes and their pimp, all murdered in a car. Then yet another woman is found dead, this time in the Danube. The cases hint at illegal slave trafficking from Albania and Russia, using Bratislava as the conduit. Jana's superior officer Trokan sends her off to a Strasbourg conference on prostitution. There she teams up with Levitin, a Russian, when two of the speakers meet with death by icepick and EU representative Moira Simmons asks to be kept informed of the investigation. Alliances will form and re-form while Jana and Levitin try to focus on the rarely seen master criminal Koba and arrange meetings with Jana's estranged daughter-who wrongly believes her mother murdered her father out of political expediency-and Levitin's lapsed sister, now swanning about at the Friends of Russia Ball in Nice under a new protector. Solving the international murder-without-borders scheme becomes a puzzle even Agatha Christie would have been proud of, although the denouement is a lot fiercer. Grim but undeniably believable in its depiction of secret police sweeps, hounded political protesters and the compromises necessary to redeem a disgraced career. Not your usual wispy escapism, but well worthwhile for current-events junkies.