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The Black Life - A Novel of Jewish Collaborators in the Holocaust by Paul Johnston

The Black Life - A Novel of Jewish Collaborators in the Holocaust

Crime / Mystery   Thriller / Suspense   
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A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.

Prolific Scottish crime writer Paul Johnston lives in Greece and his long-established and now resurrected Alex Mavros series features a half-Greek and half-Scots private sleuth who specialises in missing person cases and presently appears in his fifth outing. His dual heritage mark him as man with a conflicting sense of identity and something of an outsider wherever he treads, which makes for an engaging sleuth with a strong social conscience. Echoing the rise of fascism and Greek's economic woes and rampant corruption, The Black Life sees Mavros seeking out the fate of a Thessaloniki Jew who was deported to the concentration camps during WW2 and how it connects with present. Hardboiled to a tee and intense, this is a contemporary thriller with a conscience.

If you like Paul Johnston you might also like to read books by Stuart Macbride and Quintin Jardine.

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Persons Unknown, the second book in Susie Steiner's crime thriller series, is now out in paperback and to mark the publication we are giving away paperback copies of both Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown to THREE lucky winners!

To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 30 April 2018. The winners will be notified by 14 May 2018,

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The Black Life - A Novel of Jewish Collaborators in the Holocaust by Paul Johnston

Half-Greek, half-Scots P.I. Alex Mavros takes on one of his strangest and most difficult cases when he’s asked to trace a man who’s returned from the dead. A wealthy jeweller Samuel contacts Mavros after his Uncle Aron is spotted in the streets of Thessaloniki in northern Greece. But that’s impossible. Because Aron Samuel perished in Auschwitz more than sixty years before.

The case takes an even stranger twist when Mavros, accompanied by the jeweller’s enigmatic daughter Rachel, travels to Thessaloniki to question the elderly witness. For Aron Samuel is denounced as a traitor and murderer: was he really a Nazi collaborator?

Alternating between World War II and the present day, the shocking account throws a disturbing new light on the horrors of the Holocaust, revealing the full terrible truth about the fate of Thessaloniki’s 50,000 Jews – and the devastating present-day consequences.


“Johnston is one of the best there is, and The Black Life is his finest novel yet” Mark Billingham

About the Author

Paul Johnston

Paul Johnston is one of the UK's most highly regarded and exciting crime writers. He rocketed onto the scene with his debut novel, Body Politic, which won the Crime Writers' Association John Creasey Memorial Dagger for best first novel in 1997. Set in a futuristic Edinburgh run by a supposedly benevolent totalitarian regime, it introduced the maverick investigator Quintilian Dalrymple. A further four novels (forming a quintet, by design, oh yes) consolidated Quint's position in contemporary crime fiction's Premier League of engaging and unusual heroes. Body Politic has recently been optioned for film/ TV, and Paul is working on a new edition to celebrate the book's tenth anniversary. Quint's adventures have been published across the globe, from the USA, to Greece, to Japan, to Denmark, and points between.

Paul was born in Edinburgh in 1957. He lived there before going to Oxford to study ancient and modern Greek. He has a longstanding relationship with Greece - its language, its history and its culture - and spends much of his time there. He has a Greek wife, Roula; their daughter Maggie was born in 2006. Paul also has a nineteen-year-old daughter, Silje, from his previous marriage. His knowledge of Greece and its people led to a trilogy of novels featuring another cult detective, the half-Greek, half-Scottish Alex Mavros - they are A Deeper Shade of Blue, The Last Red Death (winner of the Sherlock Award for Best Detective Novel, 2004) and The Golden Silence. They were all critically acclaimed. The Golden Silence is currently being developed as a film in Greece.

Maxim Jakubowski's view on Paul Johnston...

His early Quintin Dalrymple thrillers were set in a near future Edinburgh, but his Alex Mavros trilogy, of which THE GOLDEN SILENCE is the 3rd, occurs in the Greek islands and Athens where the driven half Scots half Greek amateur investigator is drawn into local cases often linked to his own past. Colourful and frantic, a plunge into the dark side of paradise.

Alex Mavros series:
1. Crying Blue Murder
2. The Last Red Death
3. The Golden Silence

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Book Info

Publication date

1st August 2014


Paul Johnston

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Creme de la Crime an imprint of Severn House Publishers Ltd




Crime / Mystery
Thriller / Suspense



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