The passing of the Hungarian prime minister before he could realize his dream of a fascist state has little effect on crime reporter Zsigmond Gordon. Life—and death—go on in the bustling old city, and a late-night tip soon leads him to a crime scene where a young woman lies dead, a Jewish prayer book in her purse. Disturbed by the bizarre circumstances—the corpse of a beautiful, well-groomed, religious victim abandoned in one of Budapest's seedier neighborhoods—Gordon is determined to unravel the mystery of her demise, especially after her shocking identity is revealed. The investigation will lead him deep into the city's dark underbelly—a shadow world of pornographers, crime syndicates, and Communist cells—and to the highest echelons of power, where one of Hungary's most influential executives plans to make an economic killing through his strong political ties to Germany's leaders...if he can somehow keep secret the fact that he was, at one time, Jewish.
A gripping and evocative thriller, brimming with suspense and breathtaking political intrigue, Vilmos Kondor's Budapest Noir is a richly atmospheric tale of murder and betrayal from a remarkable new voice in noir detective fiction.
“Atmospheric. . . . Classic noir.”
“Dark and edgy, with interesting characters and locales. More from Kondor would be welcome.”
“Kondor’s impressive first novel, which unfolds against an atmosphere tinged by alienation, fear, and the threat of violence, stands out for its deft writing, plausible scenarios, vivid sense of place, and noir sensibility.”
A dark, riveting, and lightning fast novel of murder, intrigue, and political corruption, set in 1936 Hungary during the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis in Germany, Budapest Noir marks the emergence of an extraordinary new voice in literary crime fiction, Vilmos Kondor. Kondor’s remarkable debut brings this European city to breathtaking life—from the wealthy residential neighborhoods of Buda to the slums of Pest—as it follows crime reporter Zsigmond Gordon’s investigation into the strange death of a beautiful woman. As Gordon’s search for the truth leads him to shocking revelations about a seedy underground crime syndicate and its corrupt political patrons, Budapest Noir will transport you to a dark time and place, and hold you there spellbound until the final page is turned.