Author: Zygmunt Miloszewski
Page Count/Review Word Count: 460
Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.
I didn’t have particularly high hopes going into this book, because I checked out the reviews on Amazon beforehand and they weren’t particularly good. But the other reviewers were wrong – I enjoyed this book, and whilst it wasn’t exactly a masterpiece, it was professionally done and well-presented, and the story line kept me powering through until I’d finished it within a couple of days.
What’s interesting here is that Miloszewski is a bestselling writer in Poland, but his books are published in his native Polish; this book was translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, and my first thought after combining the fact that it was translated and it had low review scores was that she must have done a bad job of it, but that’s simply not true – sure, I spotted the odd typo here and there, but I was reading an advance review copy and so that’s to be expected, and I’m sure they’ll have been ironed out by the time that it’s released.
As for the story, it follows the story of prosecutor Teodor Szacki when he investigates a skeleton that’s discovered. We see most of the investigation through Szacki’s eyes, and it starts to get super interesting about half way through when we start to learn more about the skeleton, and the motives behind the victim‘s murder. What at first seems to be a relatively simple case soon turns into a quagmire of mystery and suspense, with a deep conspiracy underlining it all.
The characters in the book are three-dimensional and well thought out, and Miloszewski’s dialogue and characterisation helps to bring the story to life. Then there’s the fact that it constantly keeps you guessing right up until the very end, then hits you with a right hook with one final twist. You also don’t have to read the whole series in order for this book to make sense – in fact, this is the only one that I read, and I’m pretty sure that it was the last book in this series. Still enjoyed it.
Overall then, if you like contemporary crime and want to read something with a Stieg Larsson style vibe only with Poland instead of Sweden, you could do a lot worse than this. In fact, I’m pretty sure that my mom and my gran would both enjoy this, despite the occasional gruesome scene and the way in which some of the victims are murdered.
So what are you waiting for? If you like this sort of thing, you’re going to like this book, so stop faffing and get a copy!