cover image The End of the World in Breslau

The End of the World in Breslau

Marek Krajewski, trans. from the Polish by Danusia Stok. Melville International Crime (Random, dist.), $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-61219-177-5

Krajewski’s bleak second mystery in his Eberhard Mock quartet opens in 1960 New York City, where a dying Mock summons his old friend, Herbert Anwaldt, to hear his confession. Flash back to Breslau, Germany, late 1927. Criminal Counselor Mock investigates the murders of a musician shackled and encased alive inside a brick wall and an unemployed locksmith drawn and quartered in his own apartment. The only link between the two bizarre crimes is a piece of paper with the date pinned on each body. Meanwhile, Mock, a heavy drinker, is unable to impregnate his wife, Sophie, who eventually leaves him and disappears into the decadence of the German spa town of Wiesbaden. The unhappy, melancholic detective spends much of his time obsessing over his lost wife, while attempting to connect the strands of “the calendar murders.” Fans of Simenon’s stand-alone noirs will find much to like. (Apr.)