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Kill the General (Profusion Crime Book 2) Kindle Edition
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I am an experienced visitor to Romania, but I particularly found the footnotes explaining certain Romanian minutiae (small facts and details) particularly helpful. All languages have their specific colloquialisms.
It is good to be able to almost experience being the leading character.
The descriptions and the narrative are great. It helps the reader understand everything despite the translation from Romana to English.
I imagined before I started reading that switching the chapters from the 1980's to 2010 (the present day) and back would be at best confusing. However, the story was so good, I hardly noticed.
Basically, it is a very good, bizarre and curious story, told in a different way to the way we Brits are used to. It is also imaginative and inventive. Keeps you guessing all the way.
An excellent book.
I loved it.
I would recommend it.
To begin with: The General is very important in Stelian's life because Stelian is about to publish the Generals memoirs called "My Revolution" by Gheorghe Simionescu. Before we get to know more about the General we see Stelian in Chapter One in a Vienna hotel room, just opposite the room where the General lies in his bed sleeping. Stelian's finger is on the trigger of an Austrian gun, a Steyr-Mannlicher SSG 08 and it is aimed at the Generals heart. Stelian is also a gifted shot, "a book editor killing his own author".
Then Stelian tells the story behind the story, and Stelian inhabits the role of a schoolboy, student, his army recruit, where he was when Chernobyl explodes and where he first got in touch with the General. Leaving the army Stelian lives in Bucharest, and from his description of the revolution and of the events in December 1989, the demonstrations, the shootings, Ceausescu's attempt to escape and his shooting on December 25th, we get a tremendous picture of someone not really politically aware. Then Stelian meets the General again. In 2010 he meets the General's daughter and she convinces the General to write his memoirs and Stelian to get the book published. But obviously someone is frightened by the book and wants the General killed. Now it is the time for Stelian to take up his role as a paid assassin.
In the end Stelian can't pull the trigger, he leaves the hotel room and a little later he is arrested by the Austrian police accused of murder. Here part one of the book ends and in part two we follow Stelian's exciting hunt of the man who wanted to have the General killed. It is a breath-taking play among Romanians past and people well-known from Stelian's past adventures like Mikhail Pushkin from former FSB, KGB and maybe M16; Toni Demetriade, police commissar in Bucharest and Steiner, Austrian Chief inspector.
Kill The General is the fourth book in the Stelian Munteanu series and Bogdan Hrib`s first novel translated into English.
It is certain that Bogdan Hrib can write and that his translators Ramona Mitrica, Mike Phillips and Mihai Risnoveanu have done a great job. It would be nice to have Hrib's other books translated, also in German.
Having an interest in Eastern European history, I was fascinated by the insights into late 1980s Romania, with a compelling episode featuring the Chernobyl incident as it was seen in one of the most secretive countries in the Eastern Bloc.
The text is lively, the native Romanian and English translators managing to give the text an appealing local flavour that is miles better than any attempt at "localisation" which is sometimes found in other translations.
Peferct for a cold afternoon with a cup of tea.
I found the main character very annoying. I could not understand why is important to know about his amorous encounters or the type of orange juice he buys (maybe it was product placement!). This bragging and product references everywhere in the book I found tiring. Also, all the fighting he did in Somalia - really?!! I nearly threw the book at that point...
Anyway, I now need to go to shag my model girlfriend, then drink some Johnie Walker Black Label, because tomorrow will have to leave for some war torn country to kill some bad guys.