The Bridge of Sighs
By Olen Steinhauer
(Minotaur Books, Paperback, 9780312326012, 288pp.)
Publication Date: February 2004
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In this auspicious literary crime debut, an inexperienced homicide detective struggles amid the lawlessness of a post-WWII Eastern European city.
It's August, 1948, three years after the Russians "liberated" this small nation from German Occupation. But the Red Army still patrols the capital's rubble-strewn streets, and the ideals of the Revolution are but memories. Twenty-two-year-old Detective Emil Brod, an eager young man who spent the war working on a fishing boat in Finland, finally gets his chance to serve his country, investigating murder for the People's Militia.
The victim in Emil's first case is a state songwriter, but the evidence seems to point toward a political motive. He would like to investigate further, but even in his naivete, he realizes that the police academy never prepared him for this peculiar post-war environment, in which his colleagues are suspicious or silent, where lawlessness and corruption are the rules of the city, and in which he's still expected to investigate a murder. He is truly on his own in this new, dangerous world.
The Bridge of Sighs launches a unique series of crime novels featuring a dynamic cast of characters in an ever-evolving landscape, the politically volatile terrain of Eastern Europe in the second half of the 20th century. The Bridge of Sighs is a 2004 Edgar Award Nominee for Best First Novel.
Olen Steinhauer’s widely acclaimed Eastern European crime series, which he was inspired to write while on a Fulbright fellowship, is a two-time Edgar Award finalist and has been shortlisted for the Anthony, the Macavity, the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, and the Barry awards. The series includes 36 Yalta Boulevard, The Confession, Liberation Movements, and Victory Square. Steinhauer is also the author of the bestselling Milo Weaver series, including The Nearest Exit and The Tourist. Raised in Virginia, Steinhauer lives with his family in Budapest, Hungary.