Siren of the Waters
Soho, Jul 2009, $13.00
The van skidded on ice near Bratislava, Slovakia before bursting into an inferno roasting to death the occupants, a pimp and his six hookers. Slovak Criminal Police Commander Jana Matinova believes this was no accident that the victims were murdered. Evidence seems to point to human sexual slave trafficking from the east coming through Bratislava to the west.
Meanwhile Police Chief Trokan sends Jana to Strasbourg, France to attend a conference on prostitution. When two of the guest speakers are killed with the murder weapon being an ice pick and with the E.U. approval, Jana teams up with Russian Levitin; both believe the culprit in Strasbourg and Bratislava is master criminal Ivan “Koba” Makine. As they search for evidence, he seeks his missing sister allegedly part of Friends of Russia Ball in Nice and she prays for reconciliation with her married daughter who holds her culpable for the death of her father under the communists.
This is a terrific European police procedural with plenty of misdirection that takes the heroine and readers to the Ukraine and France. The story line is fast-paced and fabulously supported and enhanced with a subplot involving Jana’s relationship with her spouse and surviving under the communist regime. She makes the tale work, past and present, as her attitude is take no prisoners not even her daughter. Fans will relish this strong whodunit.