With still another day to go until the book’s release, Victory Square has gotten a couple more notices. First, in Canada’s Chronicle Herald, Paul Fiander includes the book in a list of upcoming titles, where in a brief write-up he says,
For some reason, the writing talents of Steinhauer have not been well publicized. Victory Square is the fifth in this brilliant series set in Eastern Europe just after the Second World War…
Los Angeles Timesthe book gets lots of space
It would be a disservice to slot this particular series of books into the “spy fiction” genre, if only because so often spy fiction concentrates on a comfortable pastiche of heroes and neither the reality of the times nor the sense of consequence that shines through Steinhauer’s clipped, economical prose.
When one realizes that, at any given time, one-fifth of the country’s populace — the real People’s Militia of Emil Brod — was engaged in spying on one another, the romance of the spy novel fades into insignificance. This banality of evil rarely offers closure, because its appearance is so normal and its normalcy is inherently rationalized.
Steinhauer offers a concrete end to the sins of the past, but he’s too shrewd a writer to communicate anything other than this end as a necessary fiction. That’s the luxury of fiction, historical or otherwise: The ink ends on the final page, but the effects of these real-life events travel onward for many decades, the consequences of which only time will tell.