The Gordian Knot

Bernhard Schlink, trans. from the German by Peter Constantine, Vintage, $15.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-375-72556-2
In Schlink's unremarkable stand-alone thriller, the fortunes of Georg Polger, a German living in France who's struggling to make ends meet as a translator, change after he receives an offer of steady employment translating technical manuals. The na├»ve Polger doesn't suspect anything untoward about the job, even after learning his employer has paid him to duplicate work already done. When he finds that his new lover, Fran├žoise Kramsky, is covertly photographing confidential plans for a new military helicopter, Polger's search for the truth takes him to pre-9/11 New York City, where the plot goes somewhat off the rails. Schlink fails to make the transformation of his colorless, mild-mannered hero into an action figure convincing. Those looking for a more engaging protagonist will find one in the author's detective series featuring Gerald Self (Self's Murder, etc.). (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/11/2010
Release date: 12/01/2010
Paperback - 246 pages - 978-0-7538-2846-5
Open Ebook - 134 pages - 978-0-307-74267-4
Hardcover - 246 pages - 978-0-297-84467-9
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