Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mystery Book Review: Siren of the Waters by Michael Genelin

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Siren of the Waters by Michael Genelin. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Siren of the Waters by Michael Genelin

Siren of the Waters by
A Commander Jana Matinova Mystery

Soho Crime (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1-56947-484-2 (1569474842)
ISBN-13: 978-1-56947-484-6 (9781569474846)
Publication Date: July 2008
List Price: $24.00

Review: We first meet Jana Matinova, the protagonist in Siren of the Waters -- the first book in Michael Genelin’s new series -- as she examines the site of a car crash that killed seven. Her investigation takes her all over Europe, twisting and turning like a coiled snake, and Genelin gives us just enough clues to keep the pages turning. Matinova has great depth to her character, and we get to know her better through interwoven flashes into her past. A few of these slow the plot down a bit, but they’re valuable in our understanding of who she is and how she ticks. She has suffered a great deal at the hands of the prior regime that destroyed her family but even that hasn’t totally damaged her inner core of determination and a need for justice. She tries her best to separate her personal feelings from her work, but possesses too much humanity for her to always succeed.

Genelin has created well-rounded background characters as well. I particularly like the relationship between Matinova and her boss, Trokan. Their banter speaks to a long and caring relationship, and he helped her as much as she could while she suffered the state’s scrutiny into the lives of her husband, herself and their child.

It’s clear that Genelin knows Europe well. His vivid descriptions of the locations in the story make one feel as if one is there with Matinova and her fellow investigators. He’s also done his research on how different police forces work. While Slovakia calls itself capitalist, the country hasn’t fully shed its communist tendencies as we see in the careful way Matinova treads while doing her work. Overall, this is a wonderful story, and I look forward to the next Matinova book.

Special thanks to Katherine Petersen for contributing her review of Siren of the Waters.

Review Copyright © 2008 — Katherine Petersen — All Rights Reserved — Reprinted with Permission

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Synopsis (from the publisher): Jana Matinova entered the Czechoslovak police force as a young woman, married an actor, and became a mother. The regime destroyed her husband, their love for one another, and her daughter's respect for her. But she has never stopped being a seeker of justice.

Now, as a commander in the Slovak police force, she liaises with colleagues across Europe as they track the mastermind of an international criminal operation involved in, among other crimes, human trafficking. Her investigation takes her from Ukraine to Strasbourg, from Vienna to Nice, in a hunt for a ruthless killer and the beautiful young Russian woman he is determined either to capture or destroy.

For more visit Mysterious Reviews, a partner with the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books which is committed to providing readers and collectors of with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

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