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The Minotaur's Head: An Inspector Mock Investigation
     

The Minotaur's Head: An Inspector Mock Investigation

by Marek Krajewski, Danusia Stok (Translator)
 

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The fourth volume in the Inspector Eberhard Mock Quintet, the series called "As Noir as it gets" by the The Independent.

When Abwehr Captain Eberhard Mock is called from his New Year's Eve revelries to attend a particularly grisly crime scene, his notoriously robust stomach is turned. A young girl—and suspected spy—who arrived by train

Overview

The fourth volume in the Inspector Eberhard Mock Quintet, the series called "As Noir as it gets" by the The Independent.

When Abwehr Captain Eberhard Mock is called from his New Year's Eve revelries to attend a particularly grisly crime scene, his notoriously robust stomach is turned. A young girl—and suspected spy—who arrived by train from France just days before, has been found dead in her hotel room, the flesh torn from her cheek by her assailant's teeth. Ill at ease with the increasingly open integration of S.S., Gestapo and police, Mock is partially relieved to be assigned to liaise with officers in Lvov, Poland, where a series of similar crimes—as yet unsolved—cast a long shadow over the town.

In Lvov he joins the ongoing investigation conducted by Commissioner Popielksi, a fellow classicist who relies on a highly unorthodox method of deduction. Meanwhile, Popielski is worried by the behaviour of his only daughter, Rita. Her head has been turned by her charismatic drama teacher, and now, unbeknownst to her father, she has started receiving letters from an ardent secret admirer.

Eberhard Mock—older, a little wiser, but still a libertine at heart and equally at home in the underworld as in the ranks of authority—once again confirms his position as the most outrageous and unpredictable detective in crime fiction.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/30/2014
An awkward framing device mars the concluding volume of Krajewski’s quartet featuring German detective Eberhard Mock (after The Phantoms of Breslau). The book opens in 1939 Lwów with the discovery of the battered corpse of a toddler, whose wounds lead the community to accuse the Jews of ritual murder. Commissioner Edward Popielski refuses his boss’s directive to handle the investigation, because the crime has to do with the “case of the Minotaur.” The story then shifts to 1937 Breslau, where former policeman Mock, now serving in the Abwehr, looks into the murder of a young woman who “was raped, had half her face devoured, and was strangled” (in that order). Her killer is dubbed the Minotaur after the mythical half-human creature. Popielski joins forces with Mock to investigate this horrific murder. Readers are likely to either forget or wonder about the relevance of the 1939 crime. (Aug.)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-08-14
Quirky sleuths solve a string of brutal murders as Europe changes all around them. Lwów, May 1939. Deputy Commissioner Popielski is called to investigate the death of a young boy found brutalized in an outdoor privy, a sign of escalating national tensions. Then Krajewski flashes back to the nearby town of Breslau on New Year's Day 1937. Maverick investigator Eberhard Mock is called to a similarly gruesome murder scene: a young woman strangled and raped, with half her face eaten off. She's identified as Anna, a teenager recently arrived from France with a dark and more imposing woman. Popielski, meanwhile, is immersed in the life of his beautiful teenage daughter, Rita, who's struggling at university but also engaged in some romantic intrigue hinted at to the reader but not to the father. The story cuts back and forth between the two men for a while. At length, because Popielski has investigated a murder like the one in Breslau, Mock travels to Lwów to consult him. These two iconoclasts, misfits in their own departments, discover kindred spirits in each other. They tackle the case with vigor, exploring the city's decadent districts. Popielski provides a helpful profile of the killer, whom they call the Minotaur, as well as files on all the local victims. Popielski, however, is thrown seriously off his stride when he learns of his daughter's risky behavior in the city's tenderloin. Mock's fourth case, filled with incisive period detail, features not one but two singular detectives at its core.
Library Journal
08/01/2014
The year is 1937, and Inspector Mock has transferred from the Breslau police to German military intelligence (the Abwehr). He was hoping to avoid politics but finds Nazis among the intelligence staff. When a Polish girl is brutally murdered in a local hotel, Mock is sent to Lvov in Poland, where a string of similar killings has occurred. There he joins the investigation with Commissioner Popielski, who is as idiosyncratic as Mock and is especially eager to solve these murders since his teenage daughter fits the victim profile. The two detectives uncover connections to the local underworld and even a possible international criminal dimension. There is also a surprising mathematical thread to be followed. VERDICT Followers of the series and fans of gritty crime novels set in Europe between World War I and World War II will enjoy this fourth and final entry (after Phantoms of Breslau), which finds Mock doggedly continuing to try to solve the worst cases while the shadow of war lingers everywhere, especially in a country that soon will be invaded from two directions.—Dan Forrest, Western Kentucky Univ. Libs., Bowling Green

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781612193427
Publisher:
Melville House Publishing
Publication date:
08/26/2014
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

MAREK KRAJEWSKI is an award-winning Polish crime writer and linguist. He is best known for his series of five Chandleresque novels set in pre-war Wrocław (which was, at the time, Breslau) with the policeman Eberhard Mock as the protagonist. These novels have been translated into 14 languages: English, French, German, and Italian, among others.

DANUSIA STOK is the translator of all five books in the Inspector Mock series, as well as The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski.

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