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An atmospheric plot and setting frame a compelling police inspector as he investigates a murder on the borders of Switzerland.
This piercing and smart crime novel almost creates a physical ache as it worms its way under your skin. Inspector Peter Hunkeler investigates a murder that appears to link to another and while colleagues blame a gang of drug smugglers, he begins to look in another less obvious direction. This is the award-winning and first to be translated book in the Inspector Hunkeler Series set in Switzerland on the border of France and Germany. The main character feels tightly wound as he stamps all over the pages, he is simple yet complicated, and entirely fascinating. Hansjorg Schneider writes with succinct sentences that gather and spill over into an evocative setting and plot. Translated by Mike Mitchell, the atmosphere slunk into my thoughts and haunted my reading. I witnessed Hunkeler as he scented the truth and allowed access to an awareness that sat just under the surface before breaking free. The Basel Killings is a story that lurks and scowls as it stomps its way to a compelling and interesting conclusion.
It is the end of October, the city of Basel is grey and wet. It could be December. It is just after midnight when Police Inspector Peter Hunkeler, on his way home and slightly worse for wear, spots old man Hardy sitting on a bench under a street light. He wants to smoke a cigarette with him, but the usually very loquacious Hardy is silent-his throat a gaping wound. Turns out he was first strangled and his left earlobe slit, the diamond stud he usually wore there missing. The media and the police come quickly to the same conclusion: Hardy's murder was the work of a gang of Albanian drug smugglers.
But for Hunkeler that seems too obvious a resolution. After all, Barabara Amsler, a prostitute, was also recently found strangled, her ear slit. He follows his own intuition and methods which lead him deep into a seedy world of bars and night clubs. More ominously, he soon must face the consequences of certain events in recent Swiss history that those in power would prefer to keep far from the public eye.
|Publication date:||15th July 2021|
|Publisher:||Bitter Lemon Press|
|Primary Genre||Crime and Mystery|
Closing date: 01/08/2021
Hansjoerg Schneider (born 1938) lives in Basel and is the author of a number of highly acclaimed plays and the bestselling Hunkeler crime series. The Basel Killings was awarded The Friedrich Glauser Prize, Germany's most prestigious crime fiction prize.More About Hansjoerg Schneider