W otchłani mroku / In the Depths of Darkness is the fourth novel by Marek Krajewski to feature Edward Popielski as the main protagonist. In preparation for writing his latest work, Krajewski spent a year studying philosophy with Professor Tadeusz Gadacz.
The newest novel by Marek Krajewski is a thriller with more references to philosophy than any of his other works. It begins in 1946 when the German city Breslau became the Polish city Wrocław. The main character, Edward Popielski, is too scared of the new authorities, against whom he'd fought at the end of the war, to even sleep. Deprived of an income, the man must find employment as a private detective.
His first job is with Professor Stephens from Lviv, who commissions him to find out which of his students is an agent working towards the destruction of the educational institution. While tracking leads to find this culprit, Popielski must fight off a gang of deserters from the Red Army searching for young girls.
Plot-twisting adventure becomes intertwined with deep philosophical speculation. By placing the action in Lviv rather than Wrocław, Krajewski deprives the story of his usual elements of surprise, but the change in scenery offers readers interesting subjects that pique their imagination. The historical and political conflicts of the period included massive border changes and population shifts and the forced redefinition of nations and cities.
Krajewski manages to link contemporary events with historical ones, which keeps the reader in suspense while they follow the developments of the post-war investigation. This newest novel will surprise readers to the fullest with its discussions of Soviet rapists and spies. The integration of philosophy signals a transition from forms of Greek tragedy he’s pursued before, but the novel reads well and its passion is obvious.
Marek Krajewski fans will have to be patient for the English version of the text - announcements for that project have not yet been made.
W otchłani mroku / In the Depths of Darkness
Znak, Kraków 2013
Dimensions: 136x205, pages: 320
Sources: culture.pl, author: SMG 23/09/2013