*Steinhauer, Olen. Liberation Movements. St. Martin's Minotaur. Aug 2006. c.340p. ISBN 0-312-33204-1. $24.95. Fiction.

This fourth entry in Steinhauer’s (The Bridge of Sighs) Eastern Bloc crime series deposits us in the late summer of 1968, as "the flowers of Prague’s spring" are being crushed by the Warsaw pact’s invading tanks. In [1975], in a nearby unnamed country, Brano Sev of the Ministry of State Security, the protagonist of 36 Yalta Boulevard, is now a colonel in his late fifties. He and his officers, Capt. Gavra Noukas and homicide inspector Katja Drdova, all have secrets to hide and a major crime to solve. Armenian hijackers have blown up an airplane in route to Istanbul, aboard which was a fellow officer of Armenian origin. Was the Ministry involved in the plane’s destruction? Is there a connection to a crime committed seven years earlier? To find the answers, Gavra and Katja must confront their own demons. Using alternating time lines, reverse chronology, and disrupted sequence, Steinhauer again displays his masterful manipulation of character, plot, and reader expectations. Tightly entwined story lines, compact scenes that evoke a grim world while capturing character subtleties, and a style pared to the essential make this a fast, intriguing read. Highly recommended.

Library Journal, vol. 131, no. 9 (May 15, 2006), 95.


Contact Information at ronterpening.com