Format Hardcover
Publication Date 06/05/18
ISBN 9781681777344
Trim Size / Pages 9 x 6 in / 400

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District VIII

A Thriller

Adam LeBor

Set in the long, hot Hungarian summer of 2015—and revealing the hidden, criminal world beneath Budapest’s glittering facade—District VIII is the first novel in the new Detective Balthazar Kovacs mystery series.

Life’s tough for a Gypsy detective in Budapest. The cops don’t trust you because you’re a Gypsy. Your fellow Gypsies, even your own family, shun you because you’re a cop. The dead, however, don't care. So when Balthazar Kovacs, a detective in the city's murder squad, gets a mysterious text message on his phone, he gulps down his coffee and goes to work. The message has two parts: a photograph and an address. The photograph shows a man, in his early thirties, lying on his back with his eyes open, half-covered by a blue plastic sheet. The address is 26 Republic Square, the former Communist Party headquarters, and once the most feared building in the country. But when Kovacs arrives at Republic Square, the body is gone... Inspired by true events, the novel takes the reader to a hidden city within Budapest and an underworld that visitors never get to see: the gritty back alleys of District VIII; the endemic corruption that reaches deep into government as officials plunder state coffers at will; a rule of law bent to serve the interests of the rich and powerful; the rising power of international organized crime gangs who use the Hungarian capital as a springboard for their European operations; and a troubling look at the ghosts of Communism (and Nazism) that still haunt Budapest.

Adam LeBor lives in Budapest, Hungary, where he writes for The Economist, Newsweek, The New York Times, and The Times (London). He is the author of a number of books, including the Orwell Prize–shortlisted Hitler's Secret Bankers.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“This thriller’s prologue is a small masterpiece. The rest of the book fulfills the prologue’s promise with scene after scene of heart-clutching suspense.” Booklist (starred) [Praise for Adam Lebor]
“A gripping debut thriller. Those looking for a strong heroine in the mold of Lisbeth Salander will be satisfied.” Publishers Weekly [Praise for Adam Lebor]
“An atmospheric thriller from a great writer.” Charles Cumming, New York Times bestselling author of 'The Trinity Six' [Praise for Adam Lebor]
“An imaginative take on geopolitics. The action never flags.” The Sunday Times (London) [Praise for Adam LeBor]
“ LeBor writes fiction with the scrupulous focus of the journalist. The world he creates is driven by the sharp edge of reality.” Alan Furst [Praise for Alan LeBor]
“This fast-moving, refreshingly intelligent story is packed with insider knowledge.” The Daily Mail [Praise for Adam LeBor]
“An entertaining and gripping journey full of murder and intrigue through the corridors of global power.” The Jewish Chronicle [Praise for Adam LeBor]