“A truly compelling and worthwhile thriller” (Associated Press) that centers around the mysterious murders of humanitarian men and women and the detective who seeks to solve the riddle—before it’s too late.
In Beijing, a monk collapses in his chamber , dead.
A fiery mark—a tattoo? a burn?—spreads across his back and down his spine. In Mumbai, a beloved economist dies suddenly. The same symbol appears. Similar deaths are reported around the world—the victims all humanitarians, all with the same death mark. In Venice, a rogue Italian policeman links the deaths, tracing the evidence. Who is killing good people around the world?
In Copenhagen, the Interpol alert lands on the desk of veteran detective Niels Bentzon: Find the “good people” of Denmark and warn them. But Bentzon is a man who is trained to see the worst in humanity, not the good.
Just as Bentzon is ready to give up, he meets Hannah Lund, a brilliant astrophysicist mourning the death of her son. With Hannah’s help, Bentzon begins to piece together the puzzle of these far-flung deaths. A pattern emerges—a perfectly executed plan of murder. There have been thirty-four deaths—two more to come if the legend is true. According to the pattern, Bentzon and Hannah can predict the time and place of the final two murders. The deaths will occur in Venice and Copenhagen. And the time is now.
The Jewish legend that the world is kept from destruction by 36 just people, who are unaware of their status, underpins this intriguing first novel from Kazinski, the pseudonym of filmmaker Anders R nnow Klarlund and Jacob Weinreich. When Italian police officer Tommaso di Barbara becomes aware that good people have been dying all over the world, he concludes that the victims are 34 of the 36, and contacts a Danish colleague, hostage negotiator Niels Bentzon, to assist him in saving the last two members of the group. Bentzon, in turn, finds unexpected help in the form of scientist Hannah Lund, who uses the inquiry to re-engage with the world after her son's suicide. The story, laden with murky metaphysics, loses its way as Bentzon, Lund, and di Barbara race to identify the last of the righteous. This is the rare thriller that's stronger on characters, especially the protagonists, than plot.