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Witold Gombrowicz, Lillian Vallee

Twisty police procedural

21:37 - Mariusz Czubaj, Anna Hyde

Reading about a criminal profiler in Poland makes a nice change from those dark Scandinavian mysteries we've all been avidly perusing. Rudolf Heinz ("like the ketchup"), the main character, is a rather tormented guy who's very lonely and only feels happy when he's playing classic rock guitar with his buddies, who call him "hippie." He's also the best profiler on serial murders in Poland, despite being based in Katowice, rather than Warsaw. Nevertheless, he gets called in to help on a Warsaw case when two seminarians' bodies turned up with their heads covered in plastic bags bearing the numbers 21 and 37, the time of the late John Paul II's death. The case is very complex, engrossing, and baffling for both Heinz and the reader, who is kept guessing right up to the end. It also involves some touchy subjects in Poland, i.e., homosexuality and corruption in the Catholic Church. I'm looking forward to reading more about Rudolf Heinz. The translation is excellent and was named one of World Literature Today's Notable Translations of 2013. The only caveat I have is that the publisher, Stork Press (or whomever they're paying) is using a terrible method for converting their PDFs into ebooks--the ebook has major font and spacing issues, which can be distracting. However, I'll definitely be reading more books in this series if they're translated.