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By Dan Fesperman

Soho Press, 1999 ($14.00)

ISBN-13: 978-1-61695-064-4

Reviewed by Sam Waas

"Page turner." "Can't put it down." Blurbs you often see describing mystery thrillers. And mostly empty promises, but this time, it's true. LIE IN THE DARK is an exceptional, gripping, and engaging story of murder and intrigue.

Vlado Petric is a disillusioned and weary young policeman performing the unwelcome task of homicide investigator, lost in an environment that seemingly renders his profession moot, for he lives in Sarajevo during the brutal civil war.

Nevertheless, Petric endeavors to maintain a modicum of sanity and stability, investigating crimes of drunkenness, passion, and ennui as though the larger envelope of snipers, bombing, and general war were nonexistent.

Petric happens upon a murder scene, not by a random or shapeless sniper, but from a close, personal pistol shot. And the victim isn't some wandering nobody. He's chief of the Ministry's special police, a high profile target.

Petric's investigation is soon shoved aside by a dark political coverup. A shadowy conspiracy surfaces, drawing Petric into a network of power and influence, a deep morass of further murder.

The novel is superbly well written, artful, intelligent, and capably crafted. Mystery fans will find LIE IN THE DARK a terrific thriller.

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