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Death in Breslau [Hardcover]

Marek Krajewski , Danusia Stok
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.72
Price: 14.37 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Sep 2012
Introducing one of the most stylish and moody historic detective series ever: The Inspector Eberhard Mock Quartet

Occupied Breslau, 1933: Two young women are found murdered on a train, scorpions writhing on their bodies, an indecipherable note in an apparently oriental language nearby ...Police Inspector Eberhard Mock's weekly assignation with two ladies of the night is interrupted as he is called to investigate.

But uncovering the truth is no straightforward matter in Breslau. The city is in the grip of the Gestapo, and has become a place where spies are everywhere, corrupt ministers torture confessions from Jewish merchants, and Freemasons guard their secrets with blackmail and violence.

And as Mock and his young assistant Herbert Anwaldt plunge into the city's squalid underbelly the case takes on a dark twist of the occult when the mysterious note seems to indicate a ritual killing with roots in the Crusades ...

Product details

  • Hardcover: 247 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House Publishing (4 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612191649
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612191645
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 15.9 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,826,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Krajewski has Mankell's sharp eye for detail, but he has, too, a more sophisticated frame of reference that may intrigue fans of Umberto Eco and Boris Akunin ... Death In Breslau is a stylish, intelligent and original addition to the canon' Financial Times.

'The city of Breslau is as much a character in this thriller as the parade of gothic loons that inhabit it ... this addictive soup has an air of the burlesque about it' Daily Telegraph.

'As noir as they get. Steeped in a rank air of cynicism and fear ... Danusia Stock's translation is terse and gripping ... this complex and atmospheric thriller will find many fans' Independent.

'Wonderful' Guardian. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Author

Review for Death in Breslau:
Krajewski relishes the period detail as takes us from bloody interrogation cells to Madame LeGoef's sweaty bordello ... Sex and sadism dominate ... above all you get the sense that Krajewski is enjoying teasing and tormenting us with numerous examples of the violent coming together of eroticism and the body-politic. In this respect, Death in Breslau is strongly reminiscent of Alain Robbe-Grillet's Repetition ... What's haunting about Krajewski's book, however, is that the worst was yet to come - Independent on Sunday --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immersive story telling. 8 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was pitched into the stultifying summer heat of pre-war Breslau with this gripping tale that has me waiting in great anticipation for Krajewski's next offering. A dark world of ritual murder, sexual frisson and summer heat.As suggested before this is a darker, more noir take on Philip Kerr's detective Bernie Gunther. I really was able to generate a wonderfully immersive sense of both place and character when I read this story.
Its a shame you cant enjoy a book twice the same way you did the first time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Silesian noir,.,... 3 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gripping....a simple word for this novel that i just cannot stop reading, i am not a fan of crime fiction, the genre that has created a whole heap of nothing but this Polish thriller is above and beyond some of the formulaic tripe of our times.

The regional german city of Breslau is the setting, in 1933, as the Nazi's start to take control of every aspect of urban life. (Breslau is now the large poliash city of Wrocslaw). Heavy summer heat,depravity and the endless twists and turns of patronage, from Nazi thugs to aristocratic perverts, makes this a dizzy and desperate tale of the times.

The actual crime fiction elememts are fairly standard but its the wonderful feel of the novel that draws you in, be warned though, this isnt a jolly read, the perversions and violence are nilhistic and unsettling.

Not quite similar to Mankell with his questioning,intellectual mastery but a thinking persons novel of stifling summer heart and suspense.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SEX AND SCORPIONS - SIMPLY THE BEST 9 Sep 2011
This is probably the best detective story/ thriller I've ever read, although I probably liked it as a novel more than as a whodunnit. The plot itself is over-elaborate and slightly unconvincing involving a vendetta which reaches back to the Crusades. Set in the 1930s in what is now Poland where the Nazis are just coming in to power, its central character Eberhard Mock is an extremely ambitious, brothel-loving senior policeman. In other circumstances the 'gloomy neurotic' Mock would have been a morally flawed, not particularly pleasant man. What the author Krajewski does so well is show how the particularly appalling brutalitiy of the Nazis can turn an ordinarly morally flawed being like Mock, into someone verging on the evil. Mock is prepared to let a young Jewish girl become a morphine addict and prostitute, her father to be killed, and probably the only person he has ever genuinely loved go mad in order to further his career. Yet despite that, the author manages to make Mock sympathetic. You too, he seems to say, under the pressures of the SS and the Nazis, might behave in the same way. The Nazi regime put Mock to the test in the way that most of us never are. Mock failed as most of us probably would under similar circumstances.

Like Rankin, Krajewski is in love with a city - in this case Breslau - and lovingly details its cafes, restaurants, buildings and streets. Unfortunately he is as meticulous in recording the torture inflicted by the SS and by Mock and his assistant. Sexual and physical violence seep from every pore of his characters, from the effete barons with their exquisite paintings and orgies, to the red-faced sweating SS torturer.

If I've made the book sound nasty, it is. Not just sex and violence, but scorpions also creep through its pages.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars darker noir 5 Sep 2008
this book held my attention from page one, taut and compelling. very much anovel to compare with phillip kerr and bernie gunter,somewhat more graphic when observing the scenes of torture, but did add up to realistic view of the period. the story held together very well and held my attention untill the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trouble Ahead 30 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was the first Eberhard Mock story and it has to be admitted that although it doesn't perhaps have the polish that the later stories have it is still an enthralling and clever read. There are comments on here with regards to the translation. I myself do not read or speak Polish, however from those who do I have been told that this is a very good translation by Danusia Stok.

Although the very beginning of this story takes place in 1950 we then go back to the years 1933-34, and then pick up again from where this started, and then it ends in 1951. As you can see this takes in an eighteen year period. Breslau (modern day Wroclaw) isn't a nice place to be when we go back to the Thirties. The place has not only the normal crimes that go on there to deal with, but also the intrusion of the S.A., the Gestapo, the SS, and the Abwehr. If a crime can be laid at the doors of Jews, Freemasons, etc., then all the better for the Nazis, as they can use it as propaganda for the unblemished racial purity that they want, and the perverseness of others. Eberhard Mock is brought into this as he can get a promotion if he just accepts that a certain person viciously raped and killed two women, along with a male railway worker. These victims were left with scorpions in their stomachs. Unfortunately for Mock he has to walk a fine line between the Nazis and Freemasons, and as one of the murdered victims was a Baron's daughter, and the Baron is a high ranking Mason, this particular crime comes back to haunt Mock. A year later a burnt out heavy drinking policeman from Berlin, Herbert Anwaldt is called in to follow up the crime.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
A dull and unpleasant tale. It is either badly translated, or the translator is aiming to give it an exotic feel, but either way, the language is very stilted and it's not a... Read more
Published 4 months ago by eiamjw
5.0 out of 5 stars paperbacks
well written book with a very involved plot, second hand but good condition as stated on the website good value all round
Published 5 months ago by kevan green
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, dark, dark
The gloomy and decadent Breslau setting is definitely the star of the show - the policing takes a back seat.
Published 6 months ago by Matthew of Melk
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed response to investigator Mock
Interested in detective novels beyond the works of Conan Doyle, sorry to have read so little European work even in translation, and as a student of German history, I came to this... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Stafford Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars A delicious blend of humour and the macabre
A well-crafted crime novel in a historical context - the former Breslau is now Wroclaw and part of latter day Poland. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Peter Mccormack
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading!
If you read this one, you'll definitely go to the next books by Krajewski. A very good story with an unusual policeman. You can't love him but it's difficult not to like him. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Kasha
1.0 out of 5 stars A crunching, lurching, obscure mess. And that's being kind.
Within a few pages of reading, it was apparent that there was a serious fault with this novel. Whether it lies with the author or the translator, I know not. Read more
Published 18 months ago by MrLiversalts
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment in Breslau.......maybe harsh
The book is set in Breslau a pre-WW2 town in Germany in 1933, subsequently Polish post-war.

In a nutshell, a triple murder, double rape has occurred and Mock the... Read more
Published 22 months ago by col2910
3.0 out of 5 stars no heroes or anti-heroes just villians
This book should have been right up my street - strong characters, historical pre-World War II setting, interesting plot - but it just never clicked for me. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Rob Kitchin
5.0 out of 5 stars Death in Breslau
This is a dark, noir novel, which is both bizarre and extreme. In the heat of a pre-war summer a seventeen year old girl and her governess are discovered murdered in a railway... Read more
Published on 23 May 2012 by S Riaz
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