District VIII

Adam LeBor. Pegasus Crime, $25.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-68177-734-4
In this superior series launch from LeBor (The Reykjavik Assignment), set in Hungary, Balthazar Kovacs, of the Budapest murder squad, is caught between the bias of his people, the Roma—who have turned against him because of his choice of profession—and the anti-Roma prejudice of mainstream Hungarian society. Meanwhile, the Syrian civil war has led to many desperate people seeking refuge in Hungary, exacerbating xenophobia. Against this tense background, Balthazar pursues a risky murder investigation after he gets an anonymous text message with an address and a photo of a dead or unconscious man. When Balthazar arrives on the scene, he finds no body. His presence provokes a hostile reaction from members of the Gendarmerie, a revived national police force whose mission is considered a blank check for the government “to arrest anyone politically inconvenient.” Still, Balthazar persists in his inquiries. The premise and the intelligent character construction make this a welcome addition to crime novels about honest, if flawed, cops who fight to expose the truth despite working under corrupt regimes. Agents: Georgina Capel, Georgina Capel Assoc. (U.K.). (June)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2018
Release date: 06/05/2018
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-1-64313-258-7
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-68177-817-4
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