Author(s): Olen Steinhauer
The Second World War is over and among the millions of refugees, young Emil Brod returns to the capital city of his country to live with his grandparents and take up a job as a homicide inspector. His homeland has been annexed by the Soviet Union and they are now part of the Eastern Bloc. Life is different - Russian soldiers swagger about, the luxuries of life are in short supply, everyone is careful to address their friends as Comrade. Emil's colleagues appear to loath him and he is utterly shut out. The hatred of his workmates even turns to violence. Frustrated and desperate to work, Emil begs a case to work on and suddenly and surprisingly is assigned to the high profile murder of Janos Crowder, a popular and wealthy songwriter. But this case is a difficult one - its complex skeins lead right up to the Party Chairman himself and Emil has to decide between the truth and his own safety. And the beautiful, seductive Lena, Crowder's widow, complicates things further.
Emil Brod is a young new homicide inspector in the era immediately after World War Two in a country which has been annexed by the Soviet Union. His colleagues seem to loathe him and won't speak to or help him, and his boss is equally unpleasant. Then he is given a murder case: that of Janos Crowdev, a wealthy songwriter. However there are complications to go with it, and Emil finds himself in a perilous position, added to which is the problem of a beautiful widow. It is a very well written first novel, full of chilling menace and overall a cracking good story.
Olen Steinhauer was born in Virginia, USA and studied in Romania on a Fulbright Fellowship. While there, he wrote THE BRIDGE OF SIGHS. He now lives in Budapest. He is thirty-one.