Welcome to the blog tour for Silver Pebbles by Hansjörg Schneider. Thank you to Random Things Tours for my spot on the tour. Read on for more info and my review!
PUB DATE: January 13, 2022 MARKET: Crime Fiction
- The prequel to The Basel Killings published by BLP in July 2021, winner of the Friedrich Glauser Prize, Germany’s most prestigious crime fiction award. Other winners have included Bernhard Schlink and Martin Suter.
- Part of a highly acclaimed 10 book series featuring Basel police inspector Peter Hunkeler, a character with legendary status in crime fiction written in German.
- This is a thriller driven by a chase for stolen diamonds, but also an intimate tale of ordinary
people accidentally caught in a vortex of crime, like Hank and Jacob in A Simple Plan by Scott
Smith or even Guy Haines in Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. Unusually, and
refreshingly, no one gets killed.
The Story: A Lebanese man carrying diamonds in his bag is on the train from Frankfurt to Basel, a drug mule on the return journey. At the Basel train station Inspector Hunkeler is waiting for him after a tipoff from the German police. The courier manages to flush the stones away in the station WC. Erdogan, a young Turkish sewage worker, finds the diamonds in the pipes under the station. To him they mean wealth and the small hotel he always wanted to buy near his hometown. To his older Swiss girl-friend Erika, the stones signify the end of their life together. She knows that Erdogan has a wife and children in Turkey. For the courier, finding the stones is a matter of life and death. His employers are on their way to “tidy things up”. For Hunkeler the stones are the only way to get to the people behind the drug trade. They turn out to include not only the bottom feeding drug gangs, but bankers and politicians very high up the Basel food chain.
Silver Pebbles by Hansjörg Schneider is an international crime thriller that kept me entertained from start to finish. It’s fast paced with twists and turns, and it is relatively short, so it was a quick read for me.
The translation is great. There are a few places where the language is not quite perfect, but it was originally written in a language I wouldn’t have been able to understand, and I’m happy it was translated so I could enjoy the story.
There are quite a few characters but once I got used to them, it wasn’t difficult to follow at all. I enjoyed the bits of dry humor spread through the story as well.
Overall, I enjoyed Silver Pebbles. If you enjoy fast paced thrillers, I’d recommend giving this a read.
Thank you to Random Things Tours for the free review copy. All opinions are my own and unbiased.
Hansjörg Schneider, born in Aarau, Switzerland, in 1938, worked as a teacher, and journalist. He is one of the most performed playwrights in the German language but is best known for his Inspector Hunkeler crime novels. Schneider has received numerous awards, among them the prestigious Friedrich Glauser Prize for The Basel Killings. He lives and writes in Basel.
Mike Mitchell lives in Scotland and has published over eighty translations from German and French, including all the Friedrich Glauser Sergeant Studer novels and Gustav Meyrink’s five novels. His translation of Rosendorfer’s ‘Letters Back to Ancient China’ won the 1998 Schlegel-Tieck Translation Prize.
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