Book Description

From Library Journal Having dug into Yugoslavia's recent past for what undoubtedly was meant to be a taut whodunit, journalist and first novelist Fesperman has come up with something that reads more like a report from the battlefield than a novel. The story, unfolding against a backdrop of war-ravaged Sarajevo, concerns itself with a police homicide investigator's efforts to solve the murder of the chief of the interior ministry's special police. Fesperman describes a world of terror and disintegrating civilization; treachery, corruption, shake-downs, sniper attacks, shelling, and a staggering accumulation of daily atrocities darken every page. Unfortunately, fiction seems secondary to what can only be described as a brilliant piece of war reportageAFesperman was a European correspondent for the Baltimore Evening Sun during the war in Yugoslavia. One is left with the impression that he is using his negligible plot merely as a line on which to hang powerful and descriptive word pictures. Recommended only if another mystery is needed.AA.J. Anderson, GSLIS, Simmons Coll., Boston Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. Read more From Booklist The term mean streets takes on an additional shade of meaning in this riveting first novel. Vlado Petric is a homicide investigator in besieged Sarajevo, and walking any street means listening for incoming artillery and intuitively gauging snipers' lines of fire. In the chaos of war, the Bosnian Ministry of the Interior has formed a special police force that has taken over the high-profile cases. Vlado's department is left with the dregs--domestic violence fueled by madness, stress, or alcohol. But when the chief of the special police is killed and snitches hint at his involvement in the black market, Vlado is given the investigation to help convince the UN that the Bosnian government is committed to truth and justice. This is a thoroughly satisfying cop novel. What makes it special, however, is its vivid sense of place. Fesperman, a journalist who has covered the confused conflicts that are shattering Yugoslavia, gives readers the tastes, smells, sounds, and privations of everyday life and an understanding of the roots of an appallingly muddled and tragic war. Thomas Gaughan Read more See all Editorial Reviews