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Hrib, Bogdan: Kill The General. Profusion Crime Series. Profusion London 2011. Pages 294, 7.99 €

Bogdan Hrib has written an exciting thriller mainly based in Romania. It is the story of a Romanian boy and a good discourse in Romanian history. Stelian Munteanu, 45 years old, a former journalist and now a book editor at Trident Publishing House, tells how he meets the General and what influence he had on his life.

To begin with: The General is very important in Stelian’s life because Stelian is about to publish the Generals memoirs called “My Revolution” by Gheorghe Simionescu. Before we get to know more about the General we see Stelian in Chapter One in a Vienna hotel room, just opposite the room where the General lies in his bed sleeping. Stelian’s finger is on the trigger of an Austrian gun, a Steyr-Mannlicher SSG 08 and it is aimed at the Generals heart. Stelian is also a gifted shot, “a book editor killing his own author”.

Then Stelian tells the story behind the story, and Stelian inhabits the role of a schoolboy, student, his army recruit, where he was when Chernobyl explodes and where he first got in touch with the General. Leaving the army Stelian lives in Bucharest, and from his description of the revolution and of the events in December 1989, the demonstrations, the shootings, Ceausescu’s attempt to escape and his shooting on December 25th, we get a tremendous picture of someone not really politically aware. Then Stelian meets the General again. In 2010 he meets the General’s daughter and she convinces the General to writs his memoirs and Stelian to get the book published. But obviously someone is frightened by the book and wants the General killed. Now it is the time for Stelian to take up his role as a paid assassin.

In the end Stelian can’t pull the trigger, he leaves the hotel room and a little later he is arrested by the Austrian police accused of murder. Here part one of the book ends and in part two we follow Stelian’s exciting hunt of the man who wanted to have the General killed. It is a breath-taking play among Romanians past and people well-known from Stelian’s past adventures like Mikhail Pushkin from former FSB, KGB and maybe M16; Toni Demetriade, police commissar in Bucharest and Steiner, Austrian Chief inspector.

Kill The General is the fourth book in the Stelian Munteanu series and Bogdan Hrib`s first novel translated into English.

It is certain that Bogdan Hrib can write and that his translators Ramona Mitrica, Mike Phillips and Mihai Risnoveanu have done a great job. It would be nice to have Hrib’s other books translated, also in German. Gisela Lehmer