Budapest's dark history finally catches up with Detective Balthazar Kovacs in the final instalment in Adam LeBor's Hungarian crime trilogy.
Budapest, January 2016. The Danube is grey and half-frozen, covered with ice, and the city seems to have gone into hibernation. But not for Detective Balthazar Kovacs. Elad Harari, a young Israeli historian, has disappeared. There's no sign of violence but something feels very wrong.
Harari was working in the archives of the city's Jewish Museum, investigating the fate of the assets of the Hungarian Jews murdered in the Holocaust. It's clear that his research is setting off alarm bells at one of the country's most powerful companies.
The more Balthazar digs into the case, the more he is certain that shadowy forces are in play. Someone wants Harrari out of the picture. And the pressure is building: Budapest is preparing for a major diplomatic visit – if Harari is not found it will be cancelled.
The threats against Balthazar soon turn to violence. It's clear that if he is to find the historian he will have to go face-to-face with some very dangerous people – and confront the darkest era in Hungary's past.
'Budapest is a versatile and exciting setting for Adam LeBor's superb thriller ... As well as being a police procedural, the book deals with politics and organised crime in Hungary. LeBor lives in Budapest and it shows in the vivid detail' The Times
'All the twists and turns of a high-concept Hollywood thriller ... But what makes it really stand out is the way LeBor intelligently grafts his novel's thriller elements on to Hungarian history and politics as well as current events, from the rise of populism to organised crime. Each facet has the ring of truth' Financial Times
'A first-class crime thriller set in the back-streets of Budapest at the height of Europe's refugee crisis, with an original and engaging protagonist' Charles Cummings.
'LeBor writes fiction with the scrupulous focus of the journalist' Alan Furst.
'Adam LeBor reveals that crime fiction still has exciting new avenues to explore' Val McDermid.
'A page-turning thriller' Irish Times.
'An elegant, atmospheric tale that twists and surprises at every turn' Daily Mail