Bitter Lemon, Aug 1 2010, $14.95
In 2005 at a Warsaw monastery, a demanding group therapy session occurs hosted by Cezary Rudski. He tells a tale to the three of his four patents (Euzebiusz Kiam, Hanna Kwiatkowska and Barbara Jarczyk) who remain at the table; Henryk Talek is not there as the therapist assumes he left unable to cope with the intensity.
The next day Henryk is found dead; a roasting spit jammed into his eye. Warsaw prosecutor Teodor Szack leads the investigation, but has no energy for the case. He is bone wearily tired as he interviews the therapist and the three surviving patients. However, he soon finds his inquiry intriguing as he uncovers a link to a cold case homicide over two decades ago when the Communists ran roughshod. Adding to his renewed vigor is meeting enthusiastic reporter Monika Grzelka whose beauty and élan revitalizes him. However, Szack also wonders why the Secret Police are following his every move.
This is a fascinating Polish police procedural in which almost two decades since the fall of the Iron Curtain mysteries remain tied to the Communist era. The investigation is cleverly devised and the ennui Szarck feels at first is powerful as is his sudden zest for life after meeting the energetic journalist. However, the key to Zygmunt Miloszewski’s engaging whodunit is Warsaw as the city comes across modern yet retains the scars of communism.