"We are still driven"
It was good to meet Dannaks again, that dedicated, if not quite intrepid detective from Hamburg.
This time he has to cope with internal police corruption as well as the increasingly volatile
situation between the Neo-Nazi youth and the immigrant Turkish culture; none of which is helped
by the enthusiasm of a young British journalist looking to make his name by way of a good scoop.
Although a large number of characters that some readers might find confusing, I found it a simple
matter to differentiate the various factions by way of their name spelling and attitudes.
Intriguing politics. Goes to show how human beings do not learn from history - and that it could
all happen again. We should beware; no matter how civilised we think we are, we are still driven
by tribal instinct, also known as racism. (Bernie Morris)
The different viewpoints make this 400 page book a satisfying epic. (Roger H.)
Dannaks is a wonderful downbeat detective.
Like Deutschisch this prequel is an epic. Unlike that
book this one is written from four viewpoints, the detective being one of them. The others are
from a Turkish street gang member, the leader of a group of neo-Nazis and a British journalist.
This makes for an interesting mix as their paths intertwine and clash. (T. Cordsen)
Ausländer at LuluAusländer at Amazon
"A German drinking partner for Rebus"
The novel cleverly uses the genre of the police investigative procedure to walk the
reader along a trail that connects the culturally barren Turkish resort hotels designed
to cater for German holidaymakers who seek to bask in the sun but little else from the
country in which they are nominally present to the deep and evolving culture created by
the extensive Turkish community of "guest" workers in Germany.
In the protagonist Oberkommissar Dannaks the author has created a complex sympathetic
and at times rather forlorn character. We are introduced to Dannaks on his arrival in
the Turkish hotel together with another German police inspector and temporary partner,
Reupke. The two are from different departments and have been assigned together, in a
move of political expediency, to formally collect the body of a murdered German national,
with the murder investigation being the responsibility of the Turkish authorities.
While the two detectives have also been told to gather information about the murder
where they can, Reupke never really cares about finding out who did the murder, even when
it is likely an innocent person could be convicted. Reupke is portrayed as the perfect
career policeman adept at going through the motions and making the right impression,
whether that is with his superiors or the woman he targets for a holiday romance. The
return of the two officers with the body to Hamburg marks the end of the affair to Reupke
but of course it is not over for Dannaks.
The trail that Dannaks follows not only leads him to the resolution of a crime but also
into a fascinating world dominated by the turbulence created by the confluence of many
cultural streams. Dannaks is like Rebus, he was born to live amongst the social misfits
and not just to police them.
As a murder mystery this novel is well plotted and the jigsaw of events leading to the
killing fit together not only neatly but also naturally. There is no sense of contrivance.
While the story is always interesting I would have preferred to have less of the narrative
invested in describing the mundane and sterile world of the German holiday maker not quite
being in Turkey. Far more should have been invested in painting the back story describing
the drama of living on tectonic cultural fault lines. This region is Dannaks' natural turf
and I look forward to accompanying him again on another outing. (Mr. James Johnson)
Ideally I would have preferred to know a bit more of the product description before buying,
so it is just as well that the author gave us a detailed blurb in the review section. This
seems especially true when considering the title ~ a German or Dutch word that doesn't mean
much to me, except perhaps German or Dutch. Luckily, I also liked the cover that suggested
a relaxing holiday scene viewed through a window smeared with blood. Okay, so it's a murder
mystery (German or Dutch). That must make it different from the usual 'cops and villains'
fare that we get in abundance from America and UK. So I bought it.
I found that I quickly empathised with Dannaks being thrown out of his comfort zone and
having to work in a holiday hotel abroad, along with a previously unknown partner, Reupke,
who while not exactly a loose cannon, does tend to treat the whole scenario as a holiday
rather than share Dannaks's dedication to a serious case. Things do lighten up somewhat for
both detectives with some holiday romance, but with the continuation of the investigation
upon their return to Hamburg, anything could happen, so no spoilers here. (Bernie Morris)
"Oberkommissar Dannaks is a marvellous character. I want more." (Roger H.)
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