Conjuring visions of rain slick leather trench coats, decadent Nazi night clubs and brothels, secret cults, and ancient curses. Marek Krajewski gives us an atmospheric noir novel from a Europe in the grips of fear. Fear of the Gestapo, fear of our neighbors, fear of the occult, and fear of awakening the next day to only find that things can get worse.
Death in Breslau: An Eberhard Mock Investigation is a historic crime novel set in the pre-WWII German city of Breslau (now the Polish city of Wroclaw) and is part of the Breslau quartet which has won rave reviews from readers and critics in Germany, England, and Poland. This is the first English translation and will be welcomed by literary, crime fiction, and historical mystery readers alike.
The book tells the story of the rape and murder of a young noble woman, Marietta von der Malten, and her maid, found slaughtered in a way that suggests a ritual killing. The women are discovered in a luxury train car, their bellies sliced open and scorpions placed inside to leave them to die a horrible death. Police Criminal Counselor Eberhard Mock is interrupted during his weekly visit to a brothel serving “discerning tastes,” where he plays chess with a bevy of prostitutes, to lead the investigation at the behest of the young noblewoman’s father, the Baron von Malten, an influential local noble.
Mock is from Silesia–a state in southwestern Poland that throughout its history has been part of Germany, Poland, Bohemia (Czech Republic), and Prussia--and is the son of a humble shoemaker. He is a student of Classical Studies who attended the University of Breslau but did not graduate. He joined the local police force and quickly rose through the ranks thanks to protection from the local Masonic lodge. He was able to further his career through gathering ‘dirt’ on the most important people in business, politics, and the shady underground of German Breslau. Though not physically threatening--being short and fat--he has a reputation of brutality and having the right people in a “vise”; he knows everyone’s dirty little secrets.