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Death in Breslau: An Eberhard Mock Investigation Paperback – 4 Sep 2008

3.6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: MacLehose Press; paperback / softback edition (4 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847245188
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847245182
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 323,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'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. (Independent)

'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. (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. (Daily Telegraph)

'Wonderful' Guardian. (Guardian)

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 the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 Polish exploration of a once German now Polish city with several expectations which were initially sustained but which seemed to get lost as the Middle East aspects seemed to muddy the waters. If I hadn't wanted to know more about pre-war Breslau I might never have gotten through the central sections. The fantastical elements seemed to me to detract from the infighting between the establishment and the newly in power Nazi officials, a central element given Mock is an outsider from Berlin who realises he's being set up. But by the end I was glad I had made the effort and I have already started to read the next volume, which must say something about the novel. Give this try. Mock isn't Holmes, but then neither is he Wallander. If you enjoyed Harris' Fatherland novel you might just warm to this, though Krajewski' work is far more complex and the prose far more dense (for good or ill).
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Format: Paperback
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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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. I did enjoy it, but I felt I should have loved it. Somehow it fell a little flat. I've been trying to work out why. I think part of the problem is that every character in the book is highly flawed and criminally inclined. All the female characters are prostitutes or madams, all the male characters are police or Gestapo or aristocracy, all highly corrupt. There were no `good guys' only those that weren't Nazis. I read somewhere that Death in Breslau was Chanderesque. I'll go along with the idea that Krajewski's writing is noir, but its doesn't have the first person narrative of Chandler, nor his craft at creating a way of seeing the world - Chandler always had very rich descriptions of placee that didn't just put you in the landscape but made sure you were seeing it through his lenses. And Eberhard Mock is not an anti-hero in the Philip Marlowe mould, he has institutional power and he uses it, even torturing and disposing of people to get the information he needs. I'm starting to think that the book had no heros or anti-heros, just villains. As a reader I was left with little vested interest in any character. As the plot unfolded it became a little fantastic, with the connections to The Crusades and some of the coincidences stretching the story to almost breaking point. Given all that was happening during this period there was really no need for this kind of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' kind of angle. Death in Breslau passed a few hours, but something just didn't click for me in the way that I hoped it would.
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