2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Putting the anti into anti-hero,
This review is from: Death in Breslau: An Eberhard Mock Investigation (Paperback)
It is difficult to feel much sympathy for any of the characters in this book, apart from the doomed Jew Isidor Friedlander, and his similarly ill-fated daughter, Lea. The "hero" Mock, frequents prostitutes, doesn't lift a finger to help Isidor because it helps his own career not to do so, and manipulates Anwaldt into murdering Baron von der Malten into order to cover his own Masonic tracks. Anwaldt, who is the nearest we have to a "goodie" is an alcoholic with a tenuous grasp on reality and a proclivity for violence. Although the minor characters were reasonably well fleshed out, some were outlandish and none particularly appealing.
The story is, largely, set in pre-war Germany at the time of the rise of the Nazis. The inter-departmental rivalry and scrabble for survival are factors for all the characters, and the book could be read as showing how an inhuman system crushes the humanity of all involved in it. Personally, I like my heroes to be more traditional, and to stand up for the weak against the strong, even at risk to themselves. That probably doesn't happen very often in the real world, but it doesn't seem too much to ask for in a novel. Maybe I'm just naive.
All of that said, this was an interesting book. There were plenty of twists in the (albeit far fetched) plot, and the technique of writing in very short sections that covered a few hours of the story at a time allowed for frequent changes of perspective, which made for a more exciting story. The translation was well done, and led to a fluid style that was reasonably easy to read.
Overall, I would read more of the Mock quartet if I stumbled across one, but I don't think that I would go out of my way to look for them.