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Lie in the Dark by Dan Fesperman

Lie in the Dark

by Dan Fesperman

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This book is highly instructive about a war that occurred in recent years, it features some finely constructed characters and is written in competent style. I'm finding it hard to explain, even to myself, why I didn't like it much, and was counting the pages to the end. The only reason I can come up with is the basis of the plot. Without wanting to include spoilers, I'd have to say the object of the crime just didn't grab me. Possibly prophetic that the main character, upon first hearing what the fuss was all about, sounded a little bit disappointed himself. ( )
  jayne_charles | Aug 29, 2010 |
Lie in the Dark is an interesting tale about life in war-torn Sarajevo and one police inspector's fight to win his own private war. In the beginning of the conflict Vlado Petrics's wife and infant daughter were allowed to escape to Germany. Vlado, as with all men of military serving age, stayed behind. He escaped being drafted into the military because of his employment as a policeman.
While investigating a murder Vlado is confronted with a much bigger scandal than he bargained for. Not knowing who to trust he works alone, unraveling the mystery while the civil war continues all around him. Woven into the plot are the harsh realities of what war can do to economics, politics, families, the landscape and the human spirit.

Right away I knew I would like this book. Fesperman does a great job describing the absurdity of investigating a murder in the middle of a war. As Fesperman says (p 2) "Vlado's task was that of a plumber fixing leaky toilets in the middle of a flood." It makes you realize that people will grasp and struggle for normalcy even if it doesn't make sense. ( )
1 vote SeriousGrace | Jul 28, 2008 |
Lie in the Dark is Fesperman's first mystery novel and it is a good one. Vlado Petric is a homicide investigator in war-torn Sarajevo. His wife and young daughter left Sarajevo two years earlier for the safety of Berlin but, although he was exempt from immediate military service by virtue of being a policeman, Vlado himself was not allowed to leave. Sarajevo is a site of random, multiple and frequent death from shelling and sniper fire, but business is slow for homicide detectives, until Vlado the Chief of the Interior Ministry Police is murdered one night. The plot thickens with just about everyone trying to throw Vlado off the track, while the track becomes increasingly dangerous as Vlado starts to figure out exactly what is happening and why so many powerful people are involved and want to protect themselves, and their lucrative scheme.

Vlado is a good character, the plot twists and turns but moves well, and Fesperman evokes very well the atmosphere of Sarajevo under siege and the ethnic tensions, rivalries and hatreds that fuel the conflicts.
  John | Dec 24, 2006 |
This solid, first-time effort for author Dan Fesperman is a glimpse into war-torn Bosnia c.1995, told from the perspective of a clever, underappreciated police detective assigned to investigate the murder of a prominent local government official. Whilt predictable comlications ensue -- our protagonist is harried by local toughies from the mob to renegade military commanders -- the prose is light and the story fast paced. ( )
  spirit | May 26, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375707670, Paperback)

"A mystery tinged by the politics of today...Brutally realistic." --U.S. News  & World Report

Dan Fesperman, a journalist who reported from a number of war zones, has written a masterful murder mystery in the vein of early le Carré and Graham Greene.

Vlado Petric is a homicide investigator in war-torn Sarajevo.  When he encounters an unidentified body near "sniper alley," he realizes that it is the body of Esmir Vitas, chief of the Interior Ministry's special police, and that Vitas has been killed not by any sniper's aim but by a bullet fired at almost pointblank range.  Searching for the killer in this "city of murderers," Petric finds himself drawn into a conspriacy, the scope of which goes beyond anything he could possibly have imagined.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:51 -0400)

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Investigator Petric makes his living from the dead. Lately business has been slow, what with the siege around Sarajevo. Condoned killing has displaced the crime of passion; his services with the civil police as a homicide investigator have been less in demand. Unluckily one premeditated death does land on the detective's desk. It is no abused lover or a distant sniper's victim but a government official - the chief of the interior ministry's police - shot dead at close range.… (more)

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