Stuck in Mitteleuropa with you
First came Rebecca Cantrell's A Trace of Smoke, set in 1931 Berlin. Now are J. Sydney Jones' Requiem in Vienna, which opens with Gustav Mahler conducting a rehearsal of Vienna's Court Opera in 1899; David Downing's Stettin Station, set in Berlin in November 1941; and Olen Steinhauer's The Tourist, which shows that wars (and spy novels) don't end when walls come down.
As I read these books, I'll think about a Europe as exotic and unfamiliar as any African or Asian clime. I'll think about what draws authors to those agitated times and places where eras, civilizations, cultures and religions clash.
These stories all happen where East meets West. What are your favorite borderlands for crime fiction?
While you're thinking, here's the first sentence of Steinhauer's book:
"Four hours after his failed suicide attempt, he descended toward Aerodrom Ljubljana."
© Peter Rozovsky 2010