Soho, Jul 2009, $2400
In Slovakia although they are total opposites, Jana and Sofia have been best friends since their school days. Both have been successful in their chosen endeavor as Jana is a commander in the Bratislava police force and Sofia is a reformist Transparency in the Government party member of Parliament; but though still BFFs their personalities remain the converse of each other.
One day Jana comes home to find an enormous diamond hanging from her living room ceiling. She has no idea who or why it is there unless someone wants her tainted. They succeed as her department investigates her for possible corruption and bribery. Meanwhile Jana makes her own inquiry tying the diamond to Sofia and another parliamentary official, but soon finds clues that lead to international smuggling around the world and murders in Slovakia and their neighbors.
This is a terrific Slovakia police procedural with the prime location the country’s capital Bratislava coming alive in a gritty atmosphere through the eyes of Jana. She and Sofia are fascinating friends as the former is an avenger and the latter knows first hand the harshness of corrupt power having been raped by a Communist official, years ago. Readers will enjoy their “friendship” put to the test as Michael Genelin provides an interesting joy ride of the Slovakian capital and a few other Eastern Europe locales.