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Death in Breslau
by Marek Krajewski
translated by Danusia Stok
Maclehose Press (UK), September 2008

Breslau, May 1933, a young aristocratic woman is found murdered and mutilated; a short note in what could be an Oriental language has been left at the scene of the crime. Mock is called in to solve the case. A young Berliner, Herbert Anwaldt is assigned—by his father, an old Freemason— – to be Mock’s assistant. A many-layered mystery of ritual murder unravels, delving back into the time of the Crusades, into the intermingling of Crusaders with Muslim warriors. Both battled with a sect who worshipped a Satan who, they believed, had come back to earth repenting but who could still show his evil force at will. This whole dark, occult aspect, coupled with the binding relationship of the elderly Mock and the younger, son-figure of the rookie Anwaldt, bring to mind the threatening and disturbing atmosphere of the film “Seven” (as, in other respects, does the later End of the World in Breslau). One can sense a Dostoyevskian influence in the generous sprinkling of astringent violence. Yet, putting aside such similarities, Krajewski’s work is a selfgoverned and fully organic creation.

“Death In Breslau is a stylish, intelligent and original addition to the canon”—Financial Times