The discovery of a woman close to death in a city basement sends Bucharest police officers Anton Iordan and Sorin Matache on a complex chase through the city as they seek to identify the victim. As they try to track down the would-be murderer, they find a macabre trail of missing women and they realise that this isn’t the first time the killer has struck. Iordan and Matache hit one dead end after another, until they decide they’ll have to take a chance that could prove deadly.
I received a copy of the book from Corylus Books in return for an honest review.
Finding the person who left a woman hanging from a pipe in a basement proves difficult for police detectives Jordan and Matache. The two detectives have a good working relationship, Jordan is a police commander, with a troublesome private life. Matahce is a talented, young chief inspector, living the good life.
The story is fast-paced and follows along police procedural lines. The setting in Romania, adds interest for the reader, as the forensic departments, and other aspects of the police investigative team are distinctive. There is a good cast of characters, with insights into the personal lives of the two main detectives. The characters are realistic, and the plot is well thought out. The reader investigates the crime alongside the detectives, finding out information when they do. This immersive quality makes it an enjoyable read.
Corylus Book is a new venture aiming to publish fiction translated into English. The people behind the company have very different backgrounds, but what brings us together is a deep appreciation of crime fiction and a strong interest in books from countries that so have been under-represented in English.
It took a while before it turned out that everyone’s thoughts had been on similar lines – that we wanted to take a chance on presenting some of the great European crime fiction that wouldn’t normally make its way into English. With a mixture of language, translation and other skills between the four of us, it seemed the logical next step to take.
The first Corylus books are a pair of Romanian crime novellas, Living Candles by Teodora Matei and Zodiac by Anamaria Ionescu.
There’s more to come in 2020 – starting with Romanian novelist’s Bogdan Teodorescu’s Sword, a powerful political thriller that has already been a bestseller in Romania and in its French translation. Sword will be available in May and will be followed later in the year by the first of two books by Icelandic crime writer Sólveig Pálsdóttir. The Fox will be available in the second half of this year, followed by Shackles in 2021.
And there’s more to come, with a novel by Bogdan Hrib set partly in Romania and partly in the north-east of England, a second novel from Teodora Matei, and we’re talking to more exciting writers from across Europe about what we can do together…