cover image Self's Deception

Self's Deception

Bernhard Schlink, , trans. from the German by Peter Constantine. . Vintage, $13.95 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-375-70908-1

In German author Schlink's meandering second crime novel available in English to feature aging PI Gerhard Self (after Self's Punishment ), a man named Salger hires Self to locate his missing daughter, Leonore. With little help from the father, Self tracks the missing girl to an insane asylum outside Heidelberg, where he's informed by a doctor that Leo has recently died there in an accident. Self quickly learns, among other details, that the death report is untrue, Leo's father is not really her father and that the case is connected to a top-secret government investigation. Self can be completely off the wall one minute—he lies outrageously to anyone who might have information and breaks-and-enters without compunction—and the next he's as comfortable as an old shoe, having a glass of Riesling and hanging out with his cat, Turbo. The eccentric detective is the big draw, with the less than action-packed investigation coming in a distant second. (June)