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Brother Kemal (Pi Kemal Kayankaya 5) [Paperback]

Jakob Arjouni
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

29 Aug 2013 Pi Kemal Kayankaya 5
Valerie de Chavannes, a financier's daughter, summons private investigator Kemal Kayankaya to her villa in Frankfurt's diplomatic quarter and commissions him to find her missing sixteen-year-old daughter Marieke. She is alleged to be with an older man who is posing as an artist. To Kayankaya, it seems like a simple case: an upper class girl with a thirst for adventure. Then another case turns up: The Maier Publishing House believes it needs to protect author Malik Rashid from attacks by religious fanatics at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Rashid has written a novel about, amongst other things, attitudes towards homosexuality in an Arabic country. Kayankaya is hired to be Rashid's bodyguard for three days. The two cases seem to be straightforward, but together they lead to murder, rape and abduction, and even Kayankaya comes under suspicion of being a contract killer for hire.

Frequently Bought Together

Brother Kemal (Pi Kemal Kayankaya 5) + One Man, One Murder (Pi Kemal Kayankaya 3) + Happy Birthday Turk (Pi Kemal Kayankaya 1)
Price For All Three: 20.19

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: No Exit Press (29 Aug 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842439650
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842439654
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

JAKOB ARJOUNI was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1964, the son of acclaimed German playwright Hans Gunter Michelson. He was only 20 when his first bestselling crime novel was published and he is the author of numerous other books, including Magic Hoffmann (1996), shortlisted for the IMPAC Award, and Chez Max (2006), an original and thoughtful fictional response to 9/11. But it is for his series of five mysteries featuring Turkish immigrant detective Kemal Kayankaya - Happy Birthday, Turk! (Filmed by Doris Dörrie); More Beer; One Man, One Murder (Winner of the German Crime Fiction Prize); Kismet and Brother Kemal - that he has become best known.

Translated in 23 countries, his books have sold over 1 million copies worldwide and his work both inside the crime genre and beyond makes Jakob Arjouni a formidable figure in modern German literature.

Sadly Jakob Arjouni died from pancreatic cancer in January 2013, aged just 48.

Product Description


'Arjouni's fierce, funny satire... his sardonic, Marlovian tone is beautifully captured in Anthea Bell's translation, and the whole series should be on any crime connoisseur's bookshelf.' The Daily Telegraph (12 November) --The Daily Telegraph

About the Author

Jakob Arjouni is the author of the celebrated Kayankaya novels featuring a Turkish detective in Frankfurt. Titles include Happy Birthday Turk, More Beer, One Man One Murder and Kismet. Magic Hoffmann, a standalone novel was shortlisted for the IMPAC Award. His last novel to be published in the UK was Chez Max. Sadly in January 2013 Jakob Arjouni died from pancreatic cancer aged just 48.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect little package... 28 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm sure, like many crime fiction fans, the announcement of the tragically early death of Jakob Arjouni this year was a source of sadness to us all. I have derived a great deal of reading pleasure from Arjouni's wonderful Kemal Kayankaya series, featuring this unconventional, straight-talking and supremely witty Turkish private investigator, formed from the same clay as the stalwarts of the hard-boiled crime tradition. So it is now with some sadness that I now review the last of the series, Brother Kemal...

Tasked with finding the errant daughter of femme fatale Valerie de Chavannes, Kayankaya is drawn into a devilish plot of murder, rape and abduction, which places our hero under the gaze of the police as a murderer himself. Kayankaya is also hired to offer protection to an author under the threat of religious fanatics at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and sure enough his two cases become entwined with dangerous results. Although a slim read, I found the linking of the plots a balanced affair, with the build-up of tension lightened by Kayankaya's involvement with the publishing fraternity and the humour this produces, a good counterbalance to the sinister and murderous abduction plot at the opening of the book. In the grand tradition of hardboiled noir, Kayankaya presents himself in the same world weary sense as some of the most recognisable protagonists from the pages of Chandler and Hammett, and I adore Arjouni's depiction of him absorbing and dealing succinctly with the casual racism that his Turkish heritage raises in others.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not Chandler, but still pretty good 16 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A book about a Turkish-German private investigator was not an obvious first choice to expand my reading into modern European crime fiction, but in no way do I regret my choice. The central character is Jakob Arjouni, a private investigator working in Frankfurt. He is intelligent, with a sardonic demeanor, and is no respecter of rank or wealth. Unusually for a fictional detective/investigator he has a happy home life as the partner of a former prostitute, but now the owner of a successful restaurant.

The book starts with a request by a distraught socialite mother to find her teenage daughter who the mother believes has run away to be with her lover, allegedly a photographer, but who is also suspected of being involved in drug dealing and child prostitution. Arjouni has been hired, one suspects, because his background might make him `fit in' with this shady scenario. He quickly finds the girl, but in rescuing her we find that his methods include physical violence if he deems it necessary. As a result he becomes a suspect in a murder and an assault on the abductor.

A soon as the girl is returned to her mother, a second job starts, which is to be a bodyguard for a well-known Muslin author who is visiting the Frankfurt book fair and who may, or may not, have been the subject of threats from religious extremists because his book features homosexuality. This turns out not to be the simple task that Arjouni thought it would be and links to the first case via the abductor of the girl, who is seeking revenge. Inevitably there is a violent climax, but Arjouni survives and, with the help of a friendly local detective, the police `back off' pursuing him.

The book is short, but with sufficient detail to keep the reader's interest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars He aint heavy? 22 Sep 2013
A difficult book for me to review, I am afraid :(

This book has been published after the authors death in January at just 48 years old from pancreatic cancer & is translated from the authors mother tongue of German into English.

Even though the book is less than 200 pages, it took me a long time to read, the book follows 2 plots which I found confusing & I wasn't gripped by the book at all.

I will not be seeking to read any of the authors other books
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3.0 out of 5 stars BROTHER KEMAL by Jakob Arjouni 17 July 2014
By Yohji
Format:Kindle Edition
A Germano-Turkish private detective is asked by a seductive French aristocrat to find her daughter who has gone missing with an artist, whilst also protecting a North African author from Islamists over his controversial book.

This is another in the always-interesting series of "Kayankaya" crime novels, which use the detective genre to explore multi-culturalism in Germany (as seen by a white liberal whose parents were big in the publishing industry).

As ever, the the worlds he ends up exploring (pimps who pretend not to be pimps, religious leaders involved in organised crime, the publishing industry's need for controversy) are the best bits of the book.

The characters have depth and - despite some stiff prose - it moves fast, wrapping up the plot in (just) less than 200 pages. My problem with this volume is simply that I disagree with his political analysis : too much liberal guilt.

That said, modern Germany is a sufficiently unusual setting to make this worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (too) short? But very sweet 31 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this book and will be reaching for more. Would have appreciated it being a bit longer as really got into the atmosphere of it.
Overall a clever European/German spin on the American gumshoe genre, made even more interesting by the main character being of non-German descent. His tired, be-stubbled view of the world, coupled with vague 'outsider' status mean that Kayankaya is an astute observer of modern times, as well as of the shady motivations of his clients and their dealings. The PI is witty, likeable, sharp and worldly wise, and the book had a satisfying "Colubo-esue' reveal at the end.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Light-hearted crime novel
I have to admit that the main draw to this book was that the action was set in Germany, Frankfurt to be exact. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Brummiebookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars Breath of Fresh Air in Detective Fiction
As a life long reader of detective fiction, I was delighted both by this unusual novella which came as a breath of fresh air and by finding an outstanding author new to me in this... Read more
Published 6 months ago by voluntarystress
3.0 out of 5 stars Frankfurt Noir

Although the translation is clunky in parts, this was an overall enjoyable and easy read. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Rachel Sirotinina
3.0 out of 5 stars A Quickie Crime Read
This was the first of the Kemal Kayankaya series that I have read. I enjoyed the book and read it easily within a few days. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Steph
3.0 out of 5 stars A short, quick read, but nothing to get excited about
I wasn't sure what to expect when I recieved this book to review from RealReaders. It appears to be part of a series and I have never seen or heard of any of any of the others in... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amii Adams
3.0 out of 5 stars Noirish Hard Boiler
It would be interesting to read Brother Kemal in its original German, perhaps the translation does not do it the greatest justice. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Andrew Crouch
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good read
The story is the fifth in a series set in Frankfurt about a private detective called Kamal Kayankaya. This story revolved around two cases that he had been hired for. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Victoria
3.0 out of 5 stars Something lost in translation
Brother Kemal is German author Jakob Arjouni's fifth novel in the series of mysteries starring private detective Kemal Kayankaya; written after the author's diagnosis of pancreatic... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Kingol
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