Siren of the Waters (Commander Jana Mantinova Series #1)

Siren of the Waters (Commander Jana Mantinova Series #1)

3.2 652
by Michael Genelin
     
 

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Jana entered the Czechoslovak police force as young woman, married an actor, and became a mother. The Communist regime destroyed her husband, their love for one another, and her daughter’s respect for her. But she has never stopped being a seeker of justice.

Now, she has risen to the rank of commander in the Slovak police force and is based in the capital,

Overview

Jana entered the Czechoslovak police force as young woman, married an actor, and became a mother. The Communist regime destroyed her husband, their love for one another, and her daughter’s respect for her. But she has never stopped being a seeker of justice.

Now, she has risen to the rank of commander in the Slovak police force and is based in the capital, Bratislava, a crossroads of central Europe. She liaises with colleagues across the continent to track a master criminal whose crimes include extortion, murder, kidnapping, and the operation of a vast human trafficking network.

This investigation takes her from Kiev in Ukraine to the headquarters of the European Community in Strasbourg, France; from Vienna to Nice during the Carnival, as she searches for a ruthless killer and the beautiful young Russian woman he is determined to either capture or destroy.

Editorial Reviews

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.”
Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly

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)

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Library Journal

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
Kirkus Reviews
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569475850
Publisher:
Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
07/01/2009
Series:
Commander Jana Mantinova Series, #1
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
609,651
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.00(d)

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. He lives with his wife in Paris.

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Siren of the Waters (Commander Jana Mantinova Series #1) 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 654 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The van skidded on ice near Bratislava, Slovakia before bursting into an inferno roasting to death the occupants, a pimp and his six hookers. Slovak Criminal Police Commander Jana Matinova believes this was no accident that the victims were murdered. Evidence seems to point to human sexual slave trafficking from the east coming through Bratislava to the west. Meanwhile Police Chief Trokan sends Jana to Strasbourg, France to attend a conference on prostitution. When two of the guest speakers are killed with the murder weapon being an ice pick and with the E.U. approval, Jana teams up with Russian Levitin; both believe the culprit in Strasbourg and Bratislava is master criminal Ivan "Koba" Makine. As they search for evidence, he seeks his missing sister allegedly part of Friends of Russia Ball in Nice and she prays for reconciliation with her married daughter who holds her culpable for the death of her father under the communists. This is a terrific European police procedural with plenty of misdirection that takes the heroine and readers to the Ukraine and France. The story line is fast-paced and fabulously supported and enhanced with a subplot involving Jana's relationship with her spouse and surviving under the communist regime. She makes the tale work, past and present, as her attitude is take no prisoners not even her daughter. Fans will relish this strong whodunit. Harriet Klausner
shannabelle More than 1 year ago
Upon reading this book, I was not expecting much since it was free for me to download to my Nook. I am so pleased with the quality of the book, the time taken by the author to ensure the enjoyment of the reader is prevalent. There are very few mistakes made from editing and for a free e-book that is a rarity. I look forward to reading more from Michael Ganelin, a born story teller indeed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This author has potential, but personally I found this story very difficult to follow. The plot was almost too complex and there were too many underdeveloped characters. Can't say that I ever had a sense of enjoyment reading it. Other reviewers really liked it, so maybe it was just me. I guess for the price I shouldn't complain (free).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the novel. I especially liked the short,to-the-point chapters. I actually thought that the subplot of paranoia and oppression under a communist regime to totally innocent citizens was better fleshed out than the actual crime mystery plot. But, all in all, it was good.
Cherie62 More than 1 year ago
I downloaded this book as part of the Free Fridays ebook promotion. I'm not much of a mystery fan, but this book really pulled me in with its well-drawn characters. I liked spending time with them, and finding out what would happen to them. It wasn't a "cheery" read, but I found it to be interesting - especially in the depiction of how murder cases are investigated in other countries. Worth reading.
jcmMN More than 1 year ago
This spellbinding account of Mafia-style crimes and international crime fighting in the ethical quagmire of countries tainted by decades of Communist dominance, is a good read. The tale provides insight into the evolving culture of Slovakia and quickly transports readers to the Ukraine, Austria, and finally Nice (France) with Commander Jana Mantinova of the Slovak National Police Force. With help and considerable hindrance from a host of intriguing characters, Mantinova exhibits stealth and savvy in her struggle to connect the dots in a string of crimes that literally explode out of an initial investigation of a single suspicious “traffic accident” in Bratislava. Flashback-style chapters throughout the book provide glimpses of Jana’s past personal and professional life and trials. Dare I say that this book and Genelin’s "Commander Mantinova Series" may be the next stop for readers of Stieg Larsson’s Swedish police stories. Can Hollywood be far behind?
rtpana More than 1 year ago
The first 2/3rds of the book have good character development and plot especially the flashbacks to Commander Jana Mantinova's past.The part of the blind cats was disturbing and purposeless. The final third is almost like the author got tired and wanted to wrap it up or somebody else wrote it. There is strange fantasy ball, an accident that is not clear and many loose ends. That being said I will give the author the benefit of a doubt and read his next book
Kratz More than 1 year ago
There were a few problems within the book but I enjoyed the style of writing. I also like a more detailed book and this one delivered. Nice plot. Good atmoshere of the Eastern Block nations and Russia.
SHD More than 1 year ago
I like this author's style of writing, had no trouble following a complex plot with many characters and lots of things happening at once. I could see the story. There were a couple of things I struggled with - (What was up with the death of the blind cats?) but over all -very good.
mrgntaylor More than 1 year ago
I would recommend you read this book if you have patience . It took me a long time to get into and I did not begin enjoying it until close to the end of the novel .
skysipe21 More than 1 year ago
its so boring that i stopped reading it halfway through the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story itself was enjoyable with mystery and intrigue. I would have rated higher but the end felt rushed to tie up the story and left me disappointed.
ebooks18 More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful police procedural that takes place in Europe but the main character lives in Slovakia. The Slovakia location is unusual and very interesting. There's no sex, no romance, just a beautiful mystery with terrific characters to fuel the plot. Loved it and will read the rest of the series.
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The plot was slow...It couldn't hold my interest. I would not recommend this book for my book club nor my friends.
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