Sword by Bogdan Teodorescu – Review.

About The Book

A shadowy killer stalks the streets of Bucharest, seeking out victims from among the Roma minority.

The police are at a loss to track down the murderer, who always dispatches in the same manner – hence the Sword nickname the media are quick to give to the killer.

As panic starts to take hold and inter-racial tensions start reaching boiling point, politicians and other influential figures try to manipulate the situation for their ends.

A bestseller in Romania and France, Sword is a tumultuous political thriller by journalist and political analyst Bogdan Teodorescu – echoing much of the fears and tensions of today’s political landscape.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Even though I read a fair amount of translated fiction Sword was the first book that I have read that was originally written in Romanian. I am ashamed to say that Romania is a country I know nothing about.

When it becomes evident that a serial killer is at large, killing gypsies, you would expect the police and the government to be very concerned and trying to stop who was responsible as quickly as possible. But this is not the case. Because the victims are gypsies many have the attitude that the killer is doing the country a favour. That the victims were all criminals and neither them or their families matter. Instead the politicians are more concerned about their image and ratings. Corruption is rife, and a colleague who was best friends one day, would be used as a scapegoat the next. Just to protect their popularity with either their countrymen or the rest of Europe.

The media were just as bad, manipulating the info to suit their needs and to provoke unrest in the country. I’m not a huge fan of either newspaper or television journalism and I believed every word. 

The racism and contempt towards others was chilling but accepted as normal. It could have made it difficult to read, but strangely it didn’t.   But there were also parts that made me smile, the TVs that were broken but not enough to be replaced, is just one example.

It was a novel that was slightly out of my comfort zone with the politics but it’s one I enjoyed and I would read more books by this author.