From the author of New York Times bestseller The Tourist...
Olen Steinhauer's acclaimed first two novels, The Bridge of Sighs and The Confession, have garnered thus far an Edgar nomination, an Anthony nomination, a Macavity nomination, a Historical Dagger nomination, and five starred reviews. Now he takes this superb literary series set in a nameless Eastern European country into the 1960s.
State Security Officer Brano Sev is the secretive member of the homicide department of the capital's people's militia. No one else quite trusts him, but it is part of his job to do what the authorities ask, no matter what. So when he gets an order to travel to the village of his birth in order to interrogate a potential defector, he goes. When a man turns up dead shortly after he arrives, and Brano is framed for the murder, he assumes this is part of the plan and allows it to run its course. But when the plan leads him into exile in Vienna, he finally begins to ask questions.
In fact, in The Man from Yalta Boulevard, a tour-de-force political thriller from Olen Steinhauer, Comrade Brano Sev learns that loyalty to the cause might be the biggest crime of all.
Did Brano Sev, an agent of an unnamed Eastern European country, kill Bertrand Richter in Vienna in the 1960s? Or was he set up by his superiors at the Ministry of State Security, the headquarters of his service located at the address that gives Edgar-finalist Steinhauer's uneven third novel its title? And why does he have a slip of paper with the name Dijana Frankovic on it when he wakes up, bewildered, in a Vienna park? Even Sev doesn't know amnesia! but the consequences are all too clear: he's demoted to a dead-end factory job, "fitting electrical wires into gauges so that the machines of socialist agriculture would never fail." (The author ably captures socialist rhetoric.) Sev gets a chance at redemption, and the opportunity to find out what really happened, when the ministry sends him home, to the provincial town of B brka, to investigate a possible double agent, Jan Soroka. While the details of life behind the Iron Curtain at the height of the Cold War ring true, some readers may find the flawed Sev too undeveloped a character to care about his fate. The real story involves Sev's father, who left the country under suspicion of collaboration after WWII, but the plot's Byzantine complexity, more confusing than intriguing, clouds that classic father-son drama.