This is the second book in many ways: my second Remigiusz Mróz, second of his books I got as a gift and second in the series about Gerard Edling. I got it as a gift from my Bigger Half this year, which was a kind of no brainer, given that all Polish bookshops before Christmas were flooded with it.
Remigiusz Mróz is one of those annoying writers that publish almost faster than you can read. Since 2013 he published over 30 books, developing eight book-series with distinctive characters and settings (if we can trust the internet). As mentioned earlier I’ve only read the two books about Gerard Edling (Behawiorysta was the first one). His books are not yet published in English, but I think they are about to be, so keep an eye out.
The main premise here is in a way similar to Behawiorysta, we have a criminal who decides to play a cruel and deadly game with our main protagonist. The added kick is that he is replicating the crimes from a 1988 investigation, one of Edling’s first. Back then the murderer left his victims marked with a burned question mark. Why now, over 30 years later something like this would happen again?
Edling, who after events in Behawiorysta is not a prosecutor anymore, gets dragged into this new vortex of crime because he is one of the two remaining living participants of the 1988 events. The second one being the wronged love of his life, a journalist Małgorzata, a woman he abandoned as a consequence of those events. Clearly, their meeting now cannot be easy, with their worst nightmares dragged out into the public space and costing people lives.
Mróz builds his plot with break-neck speed. Deftly jumping between the past investigation and the current one. You might think there would be no time for character development, but with over 500 pages there’s enough space for everything. Both investigations supplement themselves as we gradually find out what Edling was hiding all those years.
The only thing that did not fully convince me was the murderer behind the current crimes. But then Mróz’s books are not necessarily focused on being believable, they are good entertainment and action incarnate. I thoroughly enjoyed the crazy ride with Mróz, but Nesbo still remains my firm favorite (I also got two of his books for Christmas). However to give Mróz a just fighting chance I’m thinking of reading one of his other series, so you’ll probably hear more from me soon.
Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska @vkphotospace.com
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