The "murder" in the title is not the one most people associate with Sarajevo, that of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, which led to the beginning of World War I. This murder takes place in 1943, when the German army has established itself in Yugoslavia and is attempting to wipe out the Communist Partisans, led by Marshal Tito.
There are two victims in this crime, a German officer who was shot, and a popular but unusual Yugoslavia reporter and fascist supporter who happens to be a very beautiful woman. Our protagonist, Gregor Reinhardt is a former Berlin policeman, and now a member of the Abwehr, the intelligence arm of the German army. He has nightmares from things that he has seen and done, and possesses a strong death wish. The chance to investigate these deaths might help him to overcome some of his internal problems.
Unfortunately, it appears that there are forces that are opposed to the solution of these murders, and that puts Gregor into serious conflict with both his superiors and the local policeman assigned to be involved in the case. It seems that everywhere he turns another obstacle is thrown up to thwart him, and it becomes extremely frustrating.
The plot is very well done, and the characters, both good and bad, finely drawn. The mystery of the deaths permeates the book, and the reader follows avidly Gregor's attempts to solve them, despite all that is happening to and around him.
The author creates a very good sense of time and place, and immerses the reader in something of which not many people are really aware. There is a great forward rush to the conclusion of the book, and a sort of enigmatic ending, but the author reveals that his hero will be back in future books. I, for one, can hardly wait!
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About the reviewer
Frank J. Konopka (frankiethek)
I'm a small town general practice attorney in the hard coal region of Pennsylvania. Books are my passion, andI read as many of them asI can. Being the President of the local library board for over … more