Marek Krajewski’s Death in Breslau, like its fellow novels, is a curious piece of work, set in 1930’s Breslau, which is present day Wroclaw. German detective Eberhard Mock is the chief protagonist, and Breslau is his literal stomping ground, where he happily lords it over his beloved ladies, and not-so-loved assorted criminal elements. This particular tale involves Mock sharing the limelight with his assistant Herbert Anwald, as they investigate a horrific double rape and murder, involving scorpions and ancient graffiti.
Imperium by Ryszard Kapuscinski, is an excellent and unique book offering an unparalleled insight into life in the former Soviet empire, and life in the current Russia and former Soviet-bloc states. Growing up as a Pole from where is currently Byelorussia, Ryszard is ideally positioned to commentate and annotate life under the former Soviet regime. He is an exceptional, if not the most exceptional, proponent of “travel reportage” in any case, and here he works on reportage from an area he clearly has massive emotional attachment to.
The Soccer War by Ryszard Kapuscinski is a collection by this one-of-a-kind author of his escapades, adventures and experiences in some of the 27 (yes, twenty seven) revolutions slash wars he personally experienced during the 1960s and early 1970s. Ryszard was a Polish journalist with responsibilities at any one time for over 50 countries in Africa and South America, and this book offers his insights and experiences into among others, Patrice Lulumba, the Algeria of Boumedienne and Ben Bella, barbarous civil war in Nigeria, and the eponymous Soccer War between El Salvador and Honduras.
The Redeemer is Harry Hole’s fourth English-language adventure, coming as it does after the dramatic finale of The Devil’s Star. This was an excellent and exciting read, and is the usual and typical Jo Nesbo in Harry Hole mode, fare. The eponymous Redeemer is a relentless Balkans assassin, who kills the wrong man one Christmas in Oslo, the repercussions of which drag Harry Hole into a race against time and death.
Outliers is essentially Malcolm Gladwell’s thesis on what it takes to be a mega-successful person in today’s world, and how genius alone is not even close to being enough to guarantee “success” of any kind. Through detailed analysis of many famous contemporary success stories, he builds on his fascinating thesis to reveal to us the true ingredients or requirements for success, and how the extremely successful are outliers in terms of their prevalence in society. It is a book that, as another reviewer wrote, will inevitably make you think over your own life story, and gives you a new way of analysing such.