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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading!
This book is not only an interesting crime story but also gives a reader a true picture of Polish prosecutors' work. It also reminds about former communism times in Poland and tries to answer the intriguing question: what are those people who worked for the old system doing now? What is their position in the modern society? I recommend this book to all who love...
Published on 20 Jan 2012 by Kasha

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay. Worth a read but no more than that
Ratings have become inflated because people seem to imagine that only four and five star reviews are worth having and the fact is that three stars means worth reading, four means above average and five should be so unusual as to be for exceptional books only. So I'm saying this book is worth reading, but no more than that. There are interesting insights into life in...
Published 8 months ago by The Bagster


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay. Worth a read but no more than that, 1 April 2014
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This review is from: Entanglement (Paperback)
Ratings have become inflated because people seem to imagine that only four and five star reviews are worth having and the fact is that three stars means worth reading, four means above average and five should be so unusual as to be for exceptional books only. So I'm saying this book is worth reading, but no more than that. There are interesting insights into life in Poland, both before it became independent from the USSR and afterwards. The central character is only just believable, his love life will not bear inspection and the other characters never leave the page. The plot is convoluted and depends on a very strange kind of psychotherapy, but what really knocks this book down is the denouement which is not very believable. So worth a read, especially if you're on a train or otherwise distracted--but no more than that, and in fact only just worth it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading!, 20 Jan 2012
This review is from: Entanglement (Paperback)
This book is not only an interesting crime story but also gives a reader a true picture of Polish prosecutors' work. It also reminds about former communism times in Poland and tries to answer the intriguing question: what are those people who worked for the old system doing now? What is their position in the modern society? I recommend this book to all who love intelligent books with unexpected endings!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime novel with atmosphere, psychology and black humour, 31 Jan 2011
By 
Maxine Clarke "Maxine of Petrona" (Kingston upon Thames, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Entanglement (Paperback)
Translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones

Entanglement combines three of my favourite elements in a novel: a strong sense of place, a realistic criminal investigation, and psychotherapy. I liked it very much indeed, not least because of the faultless translation, including puns and other running black humour - an example:

"Is it long since you divorced?"
"No, not long, a year ago. And not so much divorced, as separated. We didn't go to court. But now perhaps we'll manage to botch it all up again".
"Sorry?"
"Sorry what?"
"You said "botch it all up again".
"Oh, of course, I meant patch it all up.".....

And later: "I'm dread sure it's because her father abused her as a child."..

Not an easy task for a translator to make these little jokes work without making it seem forced, but Antonia Lloyd-Jones does a wonderful job here.

The main plot concerns the investigation of an apparent murder that has taken place in a converted Warsaw church during a weekend retreat in which four clients and a psychotherapist undergo "constellation therapy", explained in fascinating style in the novel. The victim, Henryk Telak, was very depressed and for good reason, to the extent that his death by suicide would have been accepted by his doctor and, probably, the authorities. However, Telak clearly did not commit suicide, so Teodor Szacki, a State Prosecutor, gets the case. In Poland, the prosecutor directs the police investigation and prepares the case for court, so most of the book concerns Szacki's continually frustrated attempts to find out who killed Telak, and why. There are oodles of atmosphere as he struggles to make progress, both in his own office concerning his less than attractive boss and attempts of a careerist colleague to add a drugs case to his already groaning workload, and at home, in his stale relationship with his wife of 10 years, Weronika, and their 7-year-old daughter, Helka.

Reading the novel, one is immersed in Szacki's life as the story is told through the perspective of his thoughts: his worries about money, what it's like living in Warsaw in 2005 (when the novel is set), the history of his marriage and his attraction to a young journalist - who reciprocates his interest with alacrity. And, of course, his insistence on keeping the case on track - pressuring his irascible friend Oleg Kuzniecow, in charge of the police side of the investigation, to follow up increasingly tenuous leads that Szacki feels will eventually unravel the degrees of entanglement in this puzzling conundrum, much to Oleg's disgust given that he, too, is overwhelmed, underpaid, and under pressures of his own.

I was completely absorbed in the novel - even though I didn't sympathise too much with Szacki's actions concerning his lust for a younger woman, it is easy to see how two people can be ground down after a relationship of more than 20 years in which familiarity has replaced excitement. Both partners have demanding careers, need to look after their child responsibly, and despite their professional jobs are unable to afford a reasonable place to live and many basic luxuries such as decent coffee or the sort of birthday party the girl would like. One of the aspects I loved was Szacki's constant worrying about the case, and his drive as well as willingness to enter fully into psychotherapeutic theories and principles to arrive at an understanding of the dynamics of what happened between the five people present in the fatal weekend that began the novel, in order to travel towards an understanding of what happened and why.

As the book nears the end, Szacki gets closer to discovering what happened, which necessitates investigating events from 25 years ago, before the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe. Although the author is very strong at conveying the social and historical context of these events, and what it is like to live through them, I think he's less strong at weaving them into the specific plot. I found Szacki's Agatha Christie-like exercise at the book's climax, as well as his encounter in an Italian restaurant, to be not as authentic as the story up to that point, and slightly wished he'd got to his solution by another route, as I think the climax of the book, while perfectly logical, loses its emotional punch a bit as a result.

Nevertheless, this book is superb. It's gripping as well as remarkably interesting and thought-provoking, in particular in its descriptions of the roles of children in families, as well as in the internal life of Szacki and his relationship with his environment - he's not entirely a likeable person but an admirable one, honest and committed, not always able to predict the emotional consequences to himself of his own actions. There are a couple of recommendations for further reading at the end of the novel which I might well follow up. In the words of Bert Hellinger, the author of one of these books, "No-one is evil, just entangled". Not least Szacki himself, so I hope we find out more about his future one day fairly soon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 13 Dec 2014
By 
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk (Oldham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Entanglement (Paperback)
A murder takes place during a psychiatric therapy session which involves the use of "constellation therapy", a process whereby other participants play the roles of relatives of the individual being helped and which, in an almost mysterious manner, makes the participants take on the personas of the characters they represent. The case is handled by Warsaw prosecutor, Teodor Szacki, who seems to be going through professional and personal problems of his own. To complicate the situation even further, there appear to be links with a murder that took place many years earlier, during the Communist Regime, and may have political undercurrents.
This is a superb read. It was fun to travel the streets of central Warsaw, catching glimpses of a city that I am very familiar with. I never realised that the role of the Public Prosecutor was to actually carry out the investigation, assisted by the police (similar, I am informed, to the French system). As for "Constellation Therapy", I really did think that was some fanciful invention of the author's until I researched it further - amazing! I really couldn't figure out who did it and was driven to the very end with conjectures and suspicions that were not always well-founded.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Zygmunt Miloszewski---Entanglement, 30 May 2010
By 
Simon Clarke (Hackney, London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Entanglement (Paperback)
'Entanglement' is a rich enjoyable crime novel,set
in 2005 Warsaw,and featuring the public prosecutor
Teodor Szacki.He is underpaid and over-burdened with
a heavy case load.He lives with his wife and daughter
but 'ennui' leads him to a mutual attraction for a
beautiful rookie crime reporter .

The plot concerns a death of one of the participants,
following an unusual group therapy session.Szacki,
assisted by the police investigates,delving into the
mechanics of group therapy,and also uncovering sinister
echoes from the past communist regime.

This is a well-paced,interesting,sensitively translated
novel ,which reveals an author of considerable promise.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 17 May 2014
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This review is from: Entanglement (Paperback)
Well written, with the characters really catching my attention. Teodor Szacki, the hero is great and to be able to wander around Warszawa and recognise where he was made the story so much more alive for me. Had a a whole Sunday to sit/lie and read …..bliss

Have just started the next one in the series !!!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars super elegant, super caustic, super writing, and super plot. Super characters esp Poland itself. G Kossow, 27 Feb 2013
By 
Goldie Kossow - See all my reviews
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My review is in the title. I don't review fiction because I think it is arrogant to do so if the stuff is top notch. After all, this is someone else's imagination at work. This is tip top. G Kossow!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Books, 7 Jun 2013
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Brilliant book ,good plot and resolution, will more by this author.as soon as there is a new book,soon I hope
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Entanglement
Entanglement by Zygmunt Miloszewski (Paperback - 13 May 2010)
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