Victory Square (2007)


FIRST CHAPTER - NOTES  - THROUGH THE LENS (PDF PICTURE BOOK, DIRECT DOWNLOAD)

"Victory Square is an exciting and thought-provoking fictional portrayal of historic events, as well as a meditation on the personal corruption that pervades totalitarianism. It is [also] a suspenseful espionage thriller with enough twists and turns — and surprises and betrayals — to keep you frantically turning the pages. … If you haven’t yet discovered this gem of a series, I can’t recommend them enough." - Kevin Holtsberry, National Review

New York Times Editor's Choice - Booklist: Top 10 Mystery titles of 2007

The revolutionary politics and chaotic history at the heart of Olen Steinhauer’s literary crime series set in Eastern Europe have made it one of today’s most acclaimed, garnering two Edgar Award nominations, among numerous other awards. Upon reaching the tumultuous 1980s, the series comes full circle as one of the People’s Militia’s earliest cases reemerges to torment its inspectors, including militia chief Emil Brod, the original detective on the case. His arrest of a revolutionary leader in the late 1940s resulted in the politician’s imprisonment, but at the time Emil was too young to understand how great the cost would be. Only now, in 1989, when he is days from retirement and spends more and more time looking over his shoulder, does he realize that what he did in the line of duty may get him—and others—killed.

Murders, anarchy, conspiracy and a brutal revolution collide in the final volume of the Yalta Boulevard Sequence.

By fusing a story of revenge at any cost with a portrait of a country on the brink of collapse, Steinhauer masterfully brings the personal and political together with devastating results and once again raises crime fiction to a stunning new level.

RECEPTION

…grim but fascinating…well-plotted…currents of rebellion and pro-democracy fervor sizzle in the air, and this story catches all the danger and excitement of the historic moment… —Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

 Victory Square is an exciting and thought-provoking fictional portrayal of historic events, as well as a meditation on the personal corruption that pervades totalitarianism. It is [also] a suspenseful espionage thriller with enough twists and turns — and surprises and betrayals — to keep you frantically turning the pages. … If you haven’t yet discovered this gem of a series, I can’t recommend them enough. —Kevin Holtsberry, National Review

 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… 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. —David Cotner, Los Angeles Times

 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. Emil Brod, a figure central to the entire series, is set to retire in 1989, and remembering past events turns out to be traumatic for him. —Paul Fiander, The Halifax Herald

 [H]ere, as before, Steinhauer demonstrates why he’s one of the smartest, most thoughtful crime novelists to emerge in recent years. —Sarah Weinman, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind

brilliant…masterful… —Kirkus Reviews

 masterful…This is remarkable storytelling, exploring the life cycle of a state through the eyes of political idealists, government informants, and good cops like Brod who just want to solve crimes. Steinhauer also offers a convincing portrait of the psychological shock that accompanies the downfall of even a hated dictator. —Booklist

Employing an intricate story, characters both sympathetic and despicable as well as a remarkable sense of place, Steinhauer subtly illuminates an unforgettable historical moment. —Publishers Weekly