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Other titles in the Melville International Crime series:
Brenner and Godby Wolf Haas
Synopses & Reviews
One of the most wildly popular detective series in Europe—where each book has sold over 300,000 copies—finally comes to the US and UK.
Wolf Haas’ Detective Brenner series has become wildly popular around the world for a reason: They’re timely, edgy stories told in a wry, quirky voice that’s often hilarious, and with a protagonist it’s hard not to love.
In this episode, Brenner—forced out of the police force—tries to get away from detective work by taking a job as the personal chauffeur for two-year-old Helena, the daughter of a Munich construction giant and a Viennese abortion doctor. One day, while Brenner’s attention is turned to picking out a chocolate bar for Helena at a gas station, Helena gets snatched from the car. Abruptly out of a job, Brenner decides to investigate her disappearance on his own.
With both parents in the public eye, there’s no scarcity of leads—the father’s latest development project has spurred public protest, and the mother’s clinic has been targeted by the zealous leader of an anti-abortion group.
Brenner and God is told with a dark humor that leaves no character, including Brenner, unscathed. Haas tells the story of a fallible hero who can be indecisive and world-weary, baffled and disillusioned by what he finds, but who presses forward nonetheless out of a stubborn sense of decency—a two-year-old is kidnapped, so you find her, because that’s just what you do.
"This quirkily funny kidnapping caper marks the first appearance in English of underdog sleuth Simon Brenner, a middle-aged ex-cop living in Vienna. Brenner feels he's finally found his professional niche after being hired as a chauffeur for two-year-old Helena Kressdorf by her construction mogul father and physician mother. Unfortunately, when Brenner briefly leaves Helena alone in the car at a gas station, she disappears, apparently abducted. Suspicion falls first on Brenner, and then on Sebastian Knoll, an antiabortion activist opposed to the clinic run by Helena's mother. No longer employed by the Kressdorfs, Brenner decides to investigate the case himself and uncovers possible connections to the father's new construction development and political relationships. Austrian author Haas brings a wry sense of humor to this familiar story line with his detached, conversational style. American readers will look forward to seeing more of Herr Simon. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Introducing one of Europe's most widely popular detective series
Wanting out of high-stress detective work, Simon Brenner takes a calming job as a chauffeur, shuttling a two-year-old girl back and forth in a soothing ride along the Autobahn between her father, a construction tycoon in Munich, and her mother, an abortion doctor in Vienna.
Except then one day he stops at a gas station to buy the little girl a chocolate bar and comes back to find she’s been kidnapped . . . and suddenly he’s out of a job, thoroughly stressed out, and a detective again.
With no shortage of leads—both the father’s latest development and the mother’s clinic are under siege by protestors—Brenner makes his way through a powerful cast of characters and a growing pile of bodies to solve the crime in the only way he knows how: By being in precisely the right place at the worst possible time.
Told with sharp-edged wit, suspense that’s even sharper, and one of the most quirky, hilarious, and compelling narrative voices ever.
About the Author
Wolf Haas was born in 1960 in the Austrian province of Salzburg. He is the author of seven books in the bestselling Detective Brenner mystery series, three of which have been made into popular German-language films. Among other prizes, the Brenner books have been awarded the 2004 Literature Prize from the City of Vienna and the German Thriller Prize.
Annie Janusch is the translator of the Art of the Novella edition of Heinrich von Kleist’s The Duel.
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