Nazi progeny, scamming gypsies and an ice pick–wielding assassin besmirch Slovakia.
Commander Jana Matinova (Dark Dreams, 2009, etc.) accompanies her boss Colonel Trokan to Oto Bogan’s birthday gala, where shots fell Bogan’s wife Klara, injure Trokan and miss Oto only because of Jana’s swift action. While Trokan recuperates, Madam Prosecutor Truchanova and her minions make little headway despite their access to the confidential Rostov Report suggesting ties to World War II financial irregularities. But Jana, launching her own investigation, learns that there were two gunmen who may have targeted both Bogans, possibly set up by master criminal Makine. While she’s at home reading up on another case, the perhaps not accidental death of a Rom (gypsy), a near-frozen waif appears at Jana’s. Lonely and missing her granddaughter, Jana admits her. Her lapse in judgment will make her vulnerable to (1) several sets of tails as she travels from Bratislava to Vienna to Berlin to Paris and back again and (2) several attempts on her life, including a spectacular shootout at a German zoo that claims two dirty Munich cops and a Turkish criminal. Meanwhile, Oto is again targeted for death. It seems that he was part of a menage à trois with Klara and her ex-husband, Radomir Kralik, and that trio had been buying up European banks and greedily siphoning off vast sums. All will be clarified when Jana discovers the connections between a hit-and-run victim’s tattoo, the dreaded WWII Hlinka Guard and the Rostov Report.
Jana, one of the more intriguing characters in fictional thrillerdom, makes fallibility seem like a virtue.