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Lie in the Dark [Paperback]

Dan Fesperman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

24 May 2000
Investigator Petric makes his living from thedead. Lately business has been slow, what with thesiege around Sarajevo. Condoned killing hasdisplaced the crime of passion; his services withthe civil police as a homicide investigator havebeen less in demand. Unluckily one premeditateddeath does land on the detective's desk - that ofthe chief of the interior ministry's police - shotdead at close range. Brilliantly rendering theunderworld of Sarajevo at war, this thrillerfollows one man's desperate, deadly pursuit of thewrong people in the worst places.

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Lie in the Dark + The Small Boat Of Great Sorrows + The Amateur Spy
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Product details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: No Exit Press; New edition edition (24 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1901982688
  • ISBN-13: 978-1901982688
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,227,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

What is the point of investigating a single death when your city and your country is being killed around you? For Fesperman's Sarajevo sleuth Investigator Petric part of the answer is that being a homicide cop keeps him out of the army and out of the front line in the hills a few miles away and in the city instead where he can at least phone the wife and child he has sent to safety. Another part of the answer is the simple bad attitude that he shares with most other heroes of noir detective fiction, a feeling that the job has to be done no matter how many toes he treads on. The corpse shot at close range and left to look like a sniper's victim is that of a senior figure in the security service, a man who used the local gangs to save the city from the Serbs and then turned on them when they got ambitious. Petric finds himself fed information by people who use him and threaten him--secret policemen, gangsters, whores, foreign journalists and black marketeers. This is a powerful and ingenious thriller drawn from last year's headlines but as timely today. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

‘A début novel of immense power’ The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taut, claustrophobic and impressive 1 Nov 2004
I read the very good Small Boat of Great Sorrows first having been given it as a birthday present. After reading it I really wanted to know more about Vlado and the past he'd left behind in Sarajevo.
I have to say, much as I liked Small Boat of Great Sorrows it was not a patch on the intense and oppresive world of Lie in the Dark, which is quite simply superb. Vlado Petric is barely treading water in the twisted, war-torn city and he struggles to the surface in a mire of corruption and fear. Putting aside the grippping story at the book's heart, it also really shocked me to remember how recently the siege of Sarajevo happened and how that conflict has been forgotten. More power to Fesperman for making us think of the very recent past. Even more power to him for making it such a gripping rediscovery.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Murder Mystery with a Clever Twist. 10 Jun 2007
By Scots Lass TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Another death in the former Yugoslavia. Another person shot in the street. Worth investigating or the latest victim of sniper fire? In the crumbling city of Sarajevo, Vlado Petric takes charge of the investigation. The deceased was a school friend from years ago and also worked in law and order. What had he uncovered which led to his execution - or was he involved in something illegal himself?

The impossible difficulties of trying to work a case in a city where windows are blocked with bin liners for safety, men between the ages of 16 and 60 can be press-ganged into the army, phone lines frequently fail and the population is so scattered that witnesses are hard to track down, are all detailed in this exciting book. The scenes where Vlado helps a new neighbour and his family whose apartment has been shelled is a simple act of decency in a war torn city, and his relationship with a working girl - forced into prostitution through poverty - is touchingly described.

Some may find the war details - Serb against Croat against Muslim - difficult to follow as the tinderbox that held strong under the rule of Tito blows apart and sets neighbour on neighbour - too intense to take in, but this is a worthwhile read and would make a cracking film!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is a really impressive first novel, and I was surprised by the author being able to pull off the investigating of one murder in the midst of all the dying in Sarajevo. Petric is such a silent, good man, that ends up surprising us all with his patience and moral resilience. Fesperman has done all his research well, and the characters Petric meets are all plausible representatives of one or another shade of Bosnian society. I really enjoyed this book; and the ending was more than I could have wished for. Petric's humanity survives and we are left with a melancholy sadness of all he has endured, but there is still hope that,just this once, at least a few of the baddies will not get away. Although the novel isn't only about baddies and goodies; it a novel of surviving foremost, which is why I hope Petric reaches his family in the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars law and order over chaos 5 Feb 2000
It seems so absurd that a detective is actually investigating a murder at the time that Sarajevo is being torn apart and the inhabitants fighting just to stay alive. And in so doing we are exposed to conditions in that tragic city. This man writes so well that I was totally absorbed in his descriptions of life there. Yet this is no newspaper review of life in Sarajevo. The plot of the story is very credible and extremely well developed. The book passed my test - of suspension of disbelief. The main character - Investigator Petric, is such a tragic sad figure yet his inner strength shows through all the time. And what a great ending! One of the best I've found in many a long year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric thriller 5 Dec 2008
Vlado Petric, much like Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko, is a detective with the world on his shoulders. For Petric though, war torn Sarajevo and a family trying to make it through the siege, it's perhaps understandable.

But Petric senses justice even amidst all the injustices, perhaps that's what keeps him going, as he seeks to untangle the mess that all sides have created.

I enjoyed it, very real sense of what it must have been like to live through, from a reporter who was there.

Gets better with his next book, Small Boat of Great Sorrows.
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