In this winner of the German Thriller Prize, ex-cop Simon Brenner, as part of his never-ending quest to get as far away from being a cop as he can, takes a job as an ambulance driver in downtown Vienna. Read more...
In this winner of the German Thriller Prize, ex-cop Simon Brenner, as part of his never-ending quest to get as far away from being a cop as he can, takes a job as an ambulance driver in downtown Vienna.
It's a hair-raising job, though, made more so by the tendency of the other EMTs to place bets on how many red lights they can run. Even worse, Brenner's new employer has a problem: its major competitor is somehow listening in on radio communications and beating his unit to every pickup. Knowing his past on the force, Brenner's boss asks him to act like a cop and investigate. Meanwhile, is it Brenner's paranoia or are certain wealthy elderly patients who are essentially healthy dying more quickly than they should?
It isn't long before Brenner's life is in real danger, and once again it will take a certain amount of booze, pills, and bad behavior for our man to survive being a cop one more time.
- ISBN-13: 9781612193397
- ISBN-10: 1612193390
- Publisher: Melville House Publishing
- Publish Date: July 2014
- Page Count: 230
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-05-26
- Reviewer: Staff
Simon Brenner lands in the midst of the literally cutthroat competition between Vienna’s two premier ambulance services in Austrian author Haas’s darkly funny mystery featuring the hapless ex-cop, the fourth to be translated into English (after Resurrection). Though reviving his investigative skills is one of the last things the rookie Vienna Rapid Response EMT wants, his boss manipulates him into agreeing to find out how rival Pro Med Vienna, aka the “Pro Meddlers,” has managed to tap VRR’s dispatch radio to steal calls. Then when gonzo ambulance jockey Manfred “Bimbo” Big—famous for betting on just how fast he can make it to pickups—turns up dead and a fellow driver falls under suspicion, Brenner can’t very well demur, even though it quickly becomes clear he’s risking limb and life. Distinctively sardonic, and told with a deceptively digressive style that mirrors Brenner’s deductive process, this wild ride careens unpredictably to a hair-raising, hilarious climax worthy of the brothers Coen. (July)