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The Bridge of Sighs by Olen Steinhauer

The Bridge of Sighs (2003)

by Olen Steinhauer

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Read this book a couple of years ago. While it dragged a bit at times I enjoyed it. There was a good level of tension at the beginning as the new recruit to the police station was totally ignored by his colleagues. This is in an unnamed Eastern European country shortly after WW2. Very atmospheric, authentic. Finally just got around to reading the second instalment in this series. ( )
  MitchMcCrimmon | Apr 27, 2018 |
A police procedural set in an unnamed Eastern Bloc country a few years after the second World War this book promised better than it delivered. The narrator should share some of the blame for that as he had a strange undramatic way of delivering the words but also the plot was lacking.

Emil Brod is newly graduated from the militia academy and he has been assigned to the homicide department. His fellow officers are less than welcoming and even the chief doesn't seem to want him there. Then he is asked to investigate the murder of a distinguished songwriter with no-one to assist him. The songwriter had recently separated from his wife but he had more money than his profession should garner him. Emil suspects he was blackmailing someone. Ten photographs of two men greeting each other on a street that were hidden behind the songwriter's refrigerator seem to support that conclusion. In trying to find out who the men in the photos are Emil talks to the songwriter's widow, the beautiful young Lena. Emil is smitten with her and she appears to be taken with Emil. When her house is vandalized and her housekeeper beaten Emil takes on the role of Lena's protector. He must find whatever the thief is looking for and his search takes him to Berlin during the Berlin airlift. He finds evidence of war crimes by a member of his country's political elite but he must give up the evidence when Lena is kidnapped by this person. All works out in the end with no further loss of life. ( )
  gypsysmom | Jan 9, 2017 |
This book is grim and gritty, but I liked the young detective and his love story. ( )
  aplaine | Mar 26, 2016 |
Emil Brod is newly assigned to the homicide department in the peoples militia of a fictional eastern European country in 1948. Brod is at first ignored by the other members of his new unit. His first case is the murder of an acclaimed songwriter. Brod soon finds himself involved in lots of political intrigue. I liked the investigation part of the book and the postwar setting. What drove me nuts, especially early in the book, is Emil's grandfather and his endless political rants. As the book proceeds the grandfather is in it less and less which is all for the good. This is the first book in a series that focuses on the homicide squad as a whole. I might read other books in the series especially if they don't involve Emil's family. ( )
  RachelNF | Feb 5, 2016 |
This was a very gripping fast-paced reading. It's the first book of the Eastern Bloc series and I'll definitely read the other four books, too. The story of this books takes place in 1948 in an eastern capital. It's shortly after WWII and the establishment of the Cold War is forming. Important persons are looking for a good comfortable place within the polit office. Corruptions is among the agenda when Emil Brod a young homicide inspector has his first day at the People's Militia. All his work colleagues and his chief are thinking that he is a spy amongst them and therefore they avoid him and sometimes with brutal violence. His first case brings him straight back to connections of WWII. By and by he finds the path but has to pay it by being beaten heavily. During his recovery he gains the trust of his colleagues and chief but is told to let the case drop. Brod won't let go and finally solved the puzzle. ( )
  Ameise1 | Jun 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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The greeting was in his desk, the center drawer: a piece of fish-stained cardboard with a clumsily drawn stick figure.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312326017, Paperback)

In this auspicious literary crime debut, an inexperienced homicide detective struggles amid the lawlessness of a post-WWII Eastern European city.

It's August, 1948, three years after the Russians "liberated" this small nation from German Occupation. But the Red Army still patrols the capital's rubble-strewn streets, and the ideals of the Revolution are but memories. Twenty-two-year-old Detective Emil Brod, an eager young man who spent the war working on a fishing boat in Finland, finally gets his chance to serve his country, investigating murder for the People's Militia.

The victim in Emil's first case is a state songwriter, but the evidence seems to point toward a political motive. He would like to investigate further, but even in his naivete, he realizes that the police academy never prepared him for this peculiar post-war environment, in which his colleagues are suspicious or silent, where lawlessness and corruption are the rules of the city, and in which he's still expected to investigate a murder. He is truly on his own in this new, dangerous world.

The Bridge of Sighs launches a unique series of crime novels featuring a dynamic cast of characters in an ever-evolving landscape, the politically volatile terrain of Eastern Europe in the second half of the 20th century.
The Bridge of Sighs is a 2004 Edgar Award Nominee for Best First Novel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:26 -0400)

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An inexperienced homicide detective struggles amid the lawlessness of a post-WWII Eastern European city.

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