I found this book confusing and, at times, difficult to follow.
The story is set long after the end of Communist rule in Albania.
It concerns the extremely thorough investigation of an automobile accident that occurred 17 Km outside of Vienna. The car, a taxi containing two passengers and its driver, is thrown off the road. No other vehicles are involved. The driver survives. So far, this much is a certainty in this novel by Albania's leading novelist Ismail Kadaré. The rest is far from certain.
For much of the book, it appears as if the two passengers, who are found dead by the roadside, are Besfort Y and his lady friend Rovena St. As Besfort Y is of importance to the Albanians, an Albanian investigator doggedly tries to reconstruct the events leading up to the accident.
With a series of unreliable witnesses, including the taxi driver, he descends into a black hole of confusion and confounding. This does not make for easy reading, but I suspect it gives the reader a good insight into the tortuous thought processes that were needed to survive the oppressive regime that was inspired by Albania's long serving dictator Enver Hoxha. In doing this, the novel is extremely successful, but it certainly addled my brain, especially late at night when I read most of it!
I have given the novel only 3 stars. This is not because it's a sub-standard book, but simply because I did not enjoy it as much as I had hoped that I would.
This is a book and should appeal to those who enjoy philosophy.