Budapest Noir by Vilmos Kondor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In 1930's Budapest, a young woman dressed as a prostitute, is found dead in an alley. In her purse is a Jewish prayer book
Budapest, in 1936, was no place for a Jew, or an inquisitive newspaper editor, as Zsigmund Gordon soon discovers, once he begins his own investigation of the "non crime"
A knowledge of Hungarian history isn't necessary, to understand the story herein, but it helps.....the narrative itself fills a lot of blanks...but the story itself is pretty basic. A coffee factor's daughter blows the cover of her "Aryan" family, by falling in love with a Rabbinical student...at a time when everyone, in Europe, was falling over to court the Nazis. Said daughter finds herself in the position of a Prostitute and "Artist's Model".....gets herself murdered...and Father does not know "best".
While not a Thriller in the James Ellroy mode....I see this more in Simenon's Inspector Maigret territory...more brains than brawn..though there is violence here..none of it gratuitous. Zsigmund Gordon is just a journalist...doing his job....risking life/limb/family.....It was the times, you know...
I liked this book for it's understated tone....it's "slow burn"...Recommended to those who like their Noir with a European, not Euro Trash, flavour.
*****this was a Net Galley*****