Sunday, October 14, 2007

Nomad Is An Island...

I've raved so much about Olen Steinhauer's series about police in an unnamed Eastern Bloc country (he spent some time in Romania as as Fulbright Scholar) that seeing the series end is like saying goodbye to a dear friend. "Victory Square" once again stars Emil Brod, who began in 1948 as an inexperienced investigator suspected by his colleagues; now it's 1989, and both he and the country have lived through many torrents of false hope and repression. Over the course of six days, as Brod's final case leads him back to his first, the Ceausescu government topples (also the subject of a terrific Rumanian film called "12:08 East of Bucharest") and Brod must find out why his own name is on a hit list while dodging riots, road closures and sniper fire.

The rest of the series:

The Bridge of Sighs

The Confession

36 Yalta Boulevard

Liberation Movements

The rather inept pun which headlines this piece has to do with a blog called Contemporary Nomad, of which Steinhauer is a member. Another fine, underappreciated writer on that blog is Kevin Wignall, who also has a new book about to be published:

British assassin Conrad Hirst wants out of the killing business, but there's work to be done first -- four associates must be eliminated before he can embark on a new life. Doubts begin to surface: is it possible that he's working for the CIA and not the German mobster he believes is his employer? A beautifully-written and plotted spy thriller that might make you think of Eric Ambler.

More by Wignall:

Among the Dead

People Die

For the Dogs

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