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The Widow Killer (1998)

The Widow Killer (1998)
3.67 of 5 Votes: 4
0312193637 (ISBN13: 9780312193638)
st. martin's press
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The Widow Killer (1998)
The Widow Killer (1998)

About book: Set in Prague, during World War II, this novel blends the genre line between historical fiction and literary mystery into a quite pleasurable read. The richly described setting revolves around a quite interesting murder case. Kohout manages to bring together characters from opposite sides of the War, and makes them both surprisingly sympathetic as they work together to solve this string of ghastly murders. The tension - from both the murders and the War - mounts with more tragic events and a few too many Homeward Bound-style near misses, making the book hard to put down.As well as entertaining, I found the book to be somewhat educational as well. While I knew many of the generalities of Prague’s WWII history, this book really opened up a lot of the details. And for a translated novel, the fast pace and use of language all flowed naturally and kept me completely engrossed in the story. It really felt like a flawless translation - and a thoroughly enjoyable read!

I can't say that I greatly enjoyed the writing style, but the story is great. WWII just before the end of the war, Prague still occupied by the Nazis, resistance growng fast, the Germans know they're about to lose but all play it cool. The country's boiling underneath. In this setting we meet various characters on both sides ... chief among them a serial killer. As they would today, he lives his blood lust in secrecy ,,, but when all hell breaks loose, he joins the resistance and suddenly finds that he's allowed to enjoy his blood lust in the open - and be considered a leader for it! Through all this a young cop tries to find the killer, needless to say, it gets harder and harder knce WWII ends and the equilibrium of everything changes. Worth the read - good history lesson and very unusual serial killer tale.
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Lynn Weber
This was an interesting mystery/crime novel set in the last months of the Nazi occupation of Prague. A German Gestapo agent is assigned to help a young Czech policeman work on a serial-killer case, and in the course of the investigation the two break through their political barriers and become friendly. In the end their ability to relate to each other personally provides them both with a safety net during the difficult transition as the Nazis prepare to retreat. I particularly enjoyed the reminder of how very difficult things were, even in the process of liberation.
Terrific detective/political novel set in Prague in the dying days of WW2. The key protagonists, a young native Czech police detective and a German of Czech heritage investigate a serial murderer. The action moves between the psychopathic murderer and the two detectives trying make headway as the clarity of Germany's withdrawal from much of Europe becomes a reality. The political weight moves from the German detective - Czechoslovakia was a protectorate of Nazi Germany - to the Czech detective, while the sensitivity of these relationships and relative importance of finding and stopping the serial murderer are contextualised in a Prague that is on the brink of Civil War.Authentic and enjoyable.
Czechoslovakia. World War II. Serial killer.One would think I would have been all over this one, all of the elements were in place for what should have been a thoroughly gripping book. I was even looking forward to reading it. Even with the setting and the story and all of the other details I should have been jonesing for, I never once got into this book. I read the entire thing, I tried to care even a little bit about any of the characters, but I absolutely could not. I kept reading in order to learn something maybe about the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, or to feel some tingle of emotion or interest for any of the people involved, but I learned nothing and I felt nothing. I hoped that reading a book by someone so involved in Charta 77 and the Prague Spring would hold my interest; sadly it did not and now I don't know if I want to read anything else by Kohout.
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