Today it is over to Mandie who is sharing her thoughts on Zodiac by Romanian author, Anamaria Ionescu. We were lucky enough to hear the author on a panel at Newcastle Noir last year and were both drawn to this story, now available to all readers in the UK thanks to publishers, Corylus Books. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
When investigator Sergiu Manta is handed the investigation into a series of bizarre murders, he can’t sure what he’s getting involved in as he has to work with regular detective Marius Stanescu, who has his own suspicions about the biker he has been told to work with, and wants to get to the truth. The twists and turns of their investigation takes them from the city of Bucharest to the mountains of rural Romania, and back.Available from: Amazon
Over the past 12 months I have really been enjoying reading books in translation from various countries but had never come across any from Romania. I have been quite excited about this book ever since I listened to Anamaria talk about it at Newcastle Noir in 2019 and was able to get my hands on a copy of the book at the event. As I am a little loathed to read my signed books, I jumped on the chance to buy the kindle version when it was available as I also find them easier to read. And I have to say that it was well worth the wait.
When a body is found partially buried it is the first of several murders that sees “agency” man Sergiu Manta having to join forces with local police Chief Inspector Marius to find out the connections and the killer before they strike again. The problem is they have different agendas. Marius wants to bring the killer to justice whilst Sergiu has been given the task of finding the killer and disposing of them before Marius gets a chance to talk to them.
The two men have contrasting personalities that can at times cause friction between them. As Sergio works to keep Marius from the truth you can also sense that he respects the policeman. Despite essentially working against each other they make a good team. Sergio also worries that if Marius gets too close it could cost him dearly. Sergio is certainly an interesting character that who does what it takes to get the job done no matter what it is. His work with the Agency has cost him his past and he finds it hard to trust or connect with anyone, but he also has quite a sense of humour that means that you cant help but like him.
Although this is a relatively short book at only 150 pages, Ionescu has managed to pack it full of action that keeps the reader engaged throughout with twists that you don’t necessarily see coming. With the interesting backdrop of Romania this has certainly been one of my favourite reads this year and would love to read more of Sergio’s exploits in the future and really hope that more books by this author are translated.