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  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407015217
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 128

Detective Story

Nobel Laureate Imre Kertész plunges us into a story of the worst kind, told by a man living outside morality.

Antonio Martens was a torturer for the secret police of a recently defunct dictatorship. Now in prison, he requests and is given writing materials in his cell, and what he has to recount is his involvement in the surveillance, torture, and assassination of Federigo and Enrique Salinas, a prominent father and son whose principled but passive opposition to the regime left them vulnerable to the secret police. Preying upon young Enrique’s aimless life, the secret police began to position him as a subversive and then targeted his father. Once this plan was set into motion, any means were justified to reach the regime’s chosen end—the destruction of an entire liberal class.Inside Martens’s mind, we inhabit the rationalising world of evil and see first-hand the inherent danger of inertia during times of crisis.

  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407015217
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 128

About the author

Imre Kertesz

Imre Kertész was born in 1929 in Budapest. As a youth, he was imprisoned in Auschwitz and later in Buchenwald. He worked as a journalist and playwright before publishing Fateless, his first novel, in 1975. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2002. Imre Kertész died in Budapest in March 2016

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Praise for Detective Story

A dark, disturbing novel, from a writer with a profound understanding of a dictatorship's inner workings

The Times

A masterful addition to his other translated novels

Financial Times

A powerful and troubling new novella

Daily Mail

A suspenceful, bleak comic parable


One of the most inspired originals at work today...an astonishing performance, as terrifying as Kafka and as plausible...candid and as black as night, remarkable, alluring... How these pages shimmer with irony and astute observation.

Irish Times

Compelling, chilling, bitter little sigh of a novel

Scotland on Sunday

A timely moral fable, then, but a gripping story too. With impressive economy, Kertesz creates enough round characters to populate a novel five times as long

Daily Telegraph

The narrative is neat, lucid, written with admirable economy

Alan Massie, Scotsman

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