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Soon Bora realizes that there is much more at stake than murder in a paranoid city where everyone suspects everyone, and where persistent rumors whisper about a conspiracy aimed at the very heart of the Nazi hierarchy. Could the charming Emmy Pletsch, who works for Claus von Stauffenberg, be a key to understanding what is going on? Bora eventually meets with Stauffenberg, facing an anguishing moral dilemma, as a German soldier and as a man. The 20 July plot and its dramatic implications as never told before.
Cuando la vida pende de un hilo, nadie sabe quién es su aliado
Un nuevo caso del comandante Martin Bora
"¿Tiene sentido tratar de aclarar un crimen individual en medio de la guerra y la barbarie, formando además parte el investigador de la maquinaria bélica que ha desatado el apocalipsis? Ese dilema moral está en la base de algunas grandes novelas policíacas ambientadas en la Segunda Guerra Mundial (...) En este apasionante subgénero de la novela negra destaca la escritora Ben Pastor con su personaje, un joven oficial de la Wehrmacht, aristócrata y soldado ilustrado, Martin Bora, "un hombre justo en el bando equivocado"."
Jacinto Antón, El País
"Espías, crímenes y traiciones bajo el cielo de plomo de 1943 (...) Una novela construida con la precisión de un maestro relojero."
"Ben Pastor es una de las más vigorosas renovadoras del género de novela negra con trasfondo histórico." La Repubblica
Praise for Ben Pastor's Lumen:
“Pastor’s plot is well crafted, her prose sharp. . . . A disturbing mix of detection and reflection.”—Publishers Weekly
"Rivets the reader with its twist of historical realities. A historical piece, it faithfully reproduces the grim canvas of war. A character study, it captures the thoughts and actions of real people, not stereotypes.”—The Free Lance-Star
“And don’t miss Lumen by Ben Pastor. . . . An interesting, original, and melancholy tale.”—Literary Review
Italy, September 1943. The Italian government switches sides and declares war on Germany. The north of Italy is controlled by the fascist puppets of Germany; the south liberated by Allied forces fighting their way up the peninsula.
Having survived hell on the Russian front, Wehrmacht major and aristocrat Baron Martin von Bora is sent to Verona. He is ordered to investigate the murder of a prominent local fascist: a bizarre death threatening to discredit the regime’s public image. The prime suspect is the victim’s twenty-eight-year-old widow Clara.
Haunted by his record of opposition to SS policies in Russia, Bora must watch his step. Against the backdrop of relentless anti-partisan warfare and the tragedy of the Holocaust, a breathless chase begins.
Ben Pastor, born and now back in Italy, lived for thirty years in the United States, working as a university professor in Vermont. The first in the Martin Bora series, Lumen, was published by Bitter Lemon Press in May 2011.
Praise for the Martin Bora series:
"The tone of Liar Moon has a flu-like grimness, appropriate the 1943 setting. Pastor is excellent at providing details (silk stockings, movie magazines, cigarettes) that light up the setting."Booklist
"Lumen's plot is well crafted, her prose shap . . . a disturbing mix of detection and reflection."Publisher's Weekly
Rome, 1944. While the Allies are fighting their way up the Italian peninsula, Rome lives the last days of Nazi occupation. Their world is falling apart as the German Army, the Gestapo, and the SS vie for power while holding glittering and debauched parties. But this is also a time of Italian partisan attacks, arrests, and mass executions, all to the sound of Allied artillery bombardment just outside the walls of the city.
Baron Martin von Bora, an officer in the Wehrmacht, has the complex and delicate task of solving not one, but three murders. A young German embassy secretary has "accidentally" fallen to her death from a fourth-floor window, and a Roman society lady and a headstrong cardinal of the Roman Curia are found dead in her apartment. The cardinal is personally known to Bora and, like the officer, secretly active in the resistance against the Third Reich. With Italian police inspector Sandro Guidi at his side, Bora sets off to establish the truth. Different as they are, the two men confront crime, war, and dictatorship in the awareness that the dignity of man comes at a price beyond all imagination.
SPELLBINDING MULTI-LAYERED CRIME NOVEL SET IN UKRAINE AS THE GERMANS REGROUP AFTER THE DISASTER OF STALINGRAD.
FOR FANS OF PHILLIP KERR (BERNIE GUNTHER SERIES), ALAN FURST (SPIES OF THE BALKANS).
THE HERO, MAJOR MARTIN BORA, IS AN ARISTOCRATIC GERMAN OFFICER OF THE ILK OF CLAUS VON STAUFFENBERG, TORN BETWEEN HIS DUTY AS AN OFFICER AND HIS INTEGRITY AS A HUMAN BEING.
Ukraine, 1943. Having barely escaped the inferno of Stalingrad, Major Martin Bora is serving on the Russian front as a German counterintelligence officer. Weariness, disillusionment, and battle fatigue are a soldier’s daily fare, yet Bora seems to be one of the few whose sanity is not marred by the horrors of war.
As the Wehrmacht prepare for the Kursk counter-offensive, a Russian general defects aboard a T-34, the most advanced tank of the war. Soon he and another general, this one previously captured, are found dead in their cells. Everything appears to exclude the likelihood of foul play, but Bora begins an investigation, in a stubborn attempt to solve a mystery that will come much too close to home.
Presently a lieutenant in the Spanish Foreign Legion, Bora lives the tragedy around him as an intoxicating epic, between idealism and youthful recklessness.
The first doubts, however, rise in Bora’ s mind when he happens on the body of Federico Garcia Lorca, a brilliant poet, progressive and homosexual. Who murdered him? Why? The official version does not convince Bora, who begins a perilous investigation. His inquiry paradoxically proceeds alongside that which is being carried out by an “enemy”: Philip Walton, an American member of the International Brigades. Soon enough the German and the New Englander will join forces, and their cooperation will not only culminate in a thrilling chase after a murderer, but also in a very human, existential face-to-face between two adversaries forever changed by their crime-solving encounter...
"Pastor's plot is well crafted, her prose sharp. . . . A disturbing mix of detection and reflection."Publishers Weekly
"A mystery, it rivets the reader until the end and beyond, with its twist of historical realities. A historical piece, it faithfully reproduces the grim canvas of war. A character study, it captures the thoughts and actions of real people, not stereotypes."TheFree Lance-Star
Part wartime political intrigue, detective story, psychological thriller, and religious mystery, Ben Pastor's debut follows a German army captain and a Chicago priest as they investigate the death of a nun in Nazi-occupied Poland.
In October 1939 Captain Martin Bora discovers the abbess, Mother Kazimierza, shot dead in her convent garden. Her alleged power to see the future has brought her a devoted following; her work and motto, "Lumen Christi Adiuva Nos" ("Light of Christ, help us"), appear also to have brought some enemies.
Father Malecki has come to Cracow, at the pope's bidding, to investigate Mother Kazimierza's powers. The Vatican orders him to stay and assist Bora in the inquiry into her killing. Stunned by the violence of the occupation and the ideology of his colleagues, Bora's sense of Prussian duty is tested to the breaking point. The interference of seductive actress Ewa Kowalska does not help matters.
Ben Pastor, born in Italy, has lived for thirty years in the United States, working as a university professor in Vermont. She is the author of other novels, including The Water Thief and The Fire Walker (St. Martin's Press).