cover image Honor


R. Wright Campbell. St. Martin's Press, $16.95 (282pp) ISBN 978-0-312-93020-2

When Jan Horvath is shot down at point-blank range in front of his house in one of Belgrade's best neighborhoods, it turns out that he had been an officer in the military counterintelligence organization, the KOS. Yugoslavia's public and state security services, not to mention the KOS, want to take over the case, in the interest of ""national security'' to prevent any embarrassment to the government. But Judge Anton Trevian thinks veteran municipal police detective-sergeant Michael Karel has the best angle on the investigation. In this richly plotted, Gorky Parklike novel, a communist bureaucracy appears in a notably humane guise. The narrative reaches back to the W W II struggles of the Yugoslavian partisans and their German opponents as well as to the Spanish Civil War. A subtheme is the plight of Karel (his marriage is on the rocks) and his mistress (she's a civilian employee of the military counterintelligence but suspect because she's Jewish). The resolution of the mystery comes as a genuine surprise in this thoroughly entertaining thriller. (August 17)