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36 Yalta Boulevard

Eastern Europe Thrillers

Olen Steinhauer

Minotaur Books

Olen Steinhauer's first two novels, The Bridge of Sighs and The Confession, launched an acclaimed literary crime series set in post--World War II Eastern Europe. Now he takes his dynamic cast of characters into the shadowy political climate of the 1960s.
State Security Officer Brano Sev's job is to do what his superiors ask, no matter what. Even if that means leaving his post to work the assembly line in a factory, fitting electrical wires into gauges. So when he gets a directive from his old bosses---the intimidating men above him at the Ministry of State Security, collectively known for the address of their headquarters on Yalta Boulevard, a windowless building consisting of blind offices and dark cells---he follows orders.
This time he is to resume his job in State Security and travel to the village of his birth in order to interrogate a potential defector. But when a villager turns up dead shortly after he arrives, Brano is framed for the murder. Again trusting his superiors, he assumes this is part of their plan and allows it to run its course, a decision that leads him into exile in Vienna, where he finally begins to ask questions.
The answers in 36 Yalta Boulevard, Olen Steinhauer's tour-de-force political thriller, teach Comrade Brano Sev that loyalty to the cause might be the biggest crime of all.

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8 FEBRUARY 1967, WEDNESDAY

He left the Capital that morning, and at ten stopped in Uzhorod to fill his petrol, then continued up into the mountains, alert to each curve hidden behind clusters of snow-sprinkled pines. A small suitcase and briefcase shivered on the passenger seat.
His name was Brano Oleksy Sev. He had reached his fiftieth year the previous month with fewer scars than he deserved, and owned the same white Trabant P50 he had bought ten years before. He had replaced so many internal parts that likely nothing inside it had come with the original car. Even the steering
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Praise for 36 Yalta Boulevard

Praise for 36 Yalta Boulevard and Olen Steinhauer
 
"[Steinhauer's] people are real, the crimes genuine, and he is telling larger truths about that era, making it unusually accessible."
---David Halberstam, LA Times
 
"A brainy thriller motored by stylishness and brevity. Steinhauer evokes the baroque, bureaucratic nature of the Ministry without choking his readers on it, and he can render it humorous without being satirical. His characters, too, are subtle and biting."
---Esquire

"Brano Sev is Steinhauer's most intriguing hero yet, and that's saying something….With its shifting perceptions, pervasive paranoia, and truly unpredictable plot, this will be savored by readers of well-crafted espionage ranging from Alan Furst to John le Carré."
---Booklist (starred review)
 
"Steinhauer is a master at entangling a compelling protagonist in a spellbinding web where each broken thread entraps the character (and the reader) in yet another mystery. This is an imaginative, brilliantly plotted espionage thriller, with finely detailed settings and a protagonist of marvelous complexity. Highly recommended."
--Library Journal (starred review)

"A wonderfully taut tale that is part police procedural, part political thriller, part love story....Steinhauer has created a vivid world in a lost time."
---Washington Post Book World on The Confession
 
"A mesmerizing and richly atmospheric follow-up to his 2003 debut." 
---Entertainment Weekly on The Confession
 
"The Confession is a clever reworking of the police procedural: The narrative-within-a-narrative exposes multiple levels of complicity and guilt that make this an affecting, sobering entry in one of the most inventive series around." 
---Los Angeles Times on The Confession
 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Olen Steinhauer

  • Olen Steinhauer’s widely acclaimed Eastern European crime series, which he was inspired to write while on a Fulbright fellowship, is a two-time Edgar Award finalist and has been shortlisted for the Anthony, the Macavity, the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, and the Barry awards. The series includes The Bridge of Sighs, The Confession, Liberation Movements, and Victory Square. Steinhauer is also the author of the bestselling Milo Weaver series, including The Nearest Exit and The Tourist. Raised in Virginia, Steinhauer lives with his family in Budapest, Hungary.
  • Olen Steinhauer © Rana Faure
    Olen Steinhauer
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    36 Yalta Boulevard

    Eastern Europe Thrillers

    Olen Steinhauer

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    Minotaur Books

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