By Vilmos Kondor
(Harper Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780061859397, 304pp.)
Publication Date: January 2012
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The passing of the Hungarian prime minister before he could realize his dream of a fascist state has little effect on crime reporter Zsigmond Gordon. Life—and death—go on in the bustling old city, and a late-night tip soon leads him to a crime scene where a young woman lies dead, a Jewish prayer book in her purse. Disturbed by the bizarre circumstances—the corpse of a beautiful, well-groomed, religious victim abandoned in one of Budapest's seedier neighborhoods—Gordon is determined to unravel the mystery of her demise, especially after her shocking identity is revealed. The investigation will lead him deep into the city's dark underbelly—a shadow world of pornographers, crime syndicates, and Communist cells—and to the highest echelons of power, where one of Hungary's most influential executives plans to make an economic killing through his strong political ties to Germany's leaders...if he can somehow keep secret the fact that he was, at one time, Jewish.
A gripping and evocative thriller, brimming with suspense and breathtaking political intrigue, Vilmos Kondor's Budapest Noir is a richly atmospheric tale of murder and betrayal from a remarkable new voice in noir detective fiction.
Vilmos Kondor graduated from the Sorbonne in Paris with a degree in chemical engineering before returning home to Hungary. He lives with his wife, daughters, and dog in a quiet village near the Austrian border and teaches high school mathematics and physics. Budapest Noir is his first novel.
“Atmospheric. . . . Classic noir.”
“Kondor’s impressive first novel, which unfolds against an atmosphere tinged by alienation, fear, and the threat of violence, stands out for its deft writing, plausible scenarios, vivid sense of place, and noir sensibility.”
“Dark and edgy, with interesting characters and locales. More from Kondor would be welcome.”