Friday, April 08, 2011
PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention
Lumen is what I'd call a literary crime novel, one that has an interesting setting: Nazi-occupied Cracow. It's from Bitter Lemon Press, and here's the full description: "Equal parts wartime political intrigue, detective story, psychological thriller and religious mystery, Pastor's debut follows a German army captain and a Chicago priest as they investigate the death of a nun in Nazi-occupied Poland. Mother Kazimierza's alleged power to see the future has brought her a devoted following; her motto, "Lumen Christi Adiuva Nos" ("Light of Christ, help us"), gives the novel its title. In October 1939, Captain Martin Bora discovers the abbess shot dead in her convent garden. Father Malecki has come to Cracow at the pope's bidding, to investigate Mother Kazimierza's powers. Now the Vatican orders him to stay and assist in the inquiry into her killing. Meanwhile, the Germans are consolidating their hold on their Polish territory, dispossessing farmers, beating civilians and forcing Jews into labour gangs. Stunned by the violence of the occupation and by 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 but after two suicides, much detective work and conversations with Malecki, never easy for Bora, about choice and chance, good and evil, Bora and Malecki discover the true story of the abbess's death."