The second installment in the darkly intelligent series that The Independent called “As noir as they get.”
1927, Breslau, Poland: Two elaborate and sadistic murders are discovered within days of each other. The body of an unknown musician, bound and gagged, is found behind a false wall in a shoemaker’s workshop. The victim had been sealed in alive. Elsewhere in the city, the horrifically mutilated body of a locksmith is found. Next to each victim is a torn-out calendar page, with the day of the death marked in blood. Nothing else seems to connect the cases.
It falls to Criminal Councillor Eberhard Mock to solve the case, the mystery taking him still further into the Breslau underworld he knows only too well. Meanwhile, his hard-drinking nocturnal habits soon threaten his volatile marriage, and prompt some strange behavior from his wife ... and before long, Mock and his team will be investigating not only two of the grisliest murders in the city’s history, but the councillor’s own wife.
Krajewski s bleak second mystery in his Eberhard Mock quartet opens in 1960 New York City, where a dying Mock summons his old friend, Herbert Anwaldt, to hear his confession. Flash back to Breslau, Germany, late 1927. Criminal Counselor Mock investigates the murders of a musician shackled and encased alive inside a brick wall and an unemployed locksmith drawn and quartered in his own apartment. The only link between the two bizarre crimes is a piece of paper with the date pinned on each body. Meanwhile, Mock, a heavy drinker, is unable to impregnate his wife, Sophie, who eventually leaves him and disappears into the decadence of the German spa town of Wiesbaden. The unhappy, melancholic detective spends much of his time obsessing over his lost wife, while attempting to connect the strands of the calendar murders. Fans of Simenon s stand-alone noirs will find much to like.