Purpurland how to get all the benefits
Arctic Afghanistan, of all places
Book review by Lars Creates Nov 2003
Ironically, "Ass Afghanistan"! Horst Eckert was previously best known for his tougher crime novels about KK 11 of the Düsseldorf police, but now he is breaking new ground with his seventh crime novel "Purpurland": Instead of the banks of the Rhine and the old town, the reader is greeted by the hostile landscape of the Hindu Kush in the middle of the war Year. As is well known, the soldiers of the KSK (Special Forces Command) of the German Armed Forces are on duty there against terrorism for the "Enduring Freedom" operation. Tim Sander is one of them. But what he is taking in a life-threatening mission friendly fire experienced also shocks him, the hardened elite fighter. German weapons for Afghan opium barons?
Felix May, a specialist at the Düsseldorf SEK for hostage rescue, is also familiar with German weapons. But after his second hostage rescue in a row fails violently, he lets himself be transferred to the supposedly less exciting road service. However, he has no time to breathe deeply: He finds a woman's corpse, marked by inhuman torture. And: May knows her. She is the wife of the KSK soldier Tim Sander, whom he met on a cure ...
The already very good Eckert takes another step forward
You had to go to Horst Eckert Purpurland are among the most important German-speaking crime fiction authors. The Marlowe Prize for "Aufgeputscht" and the "Glauser" for "Die Zwillingsfalle", which recently appeared in the renowned "Series noir" by the French Gallimard publishing house, are proof of this. Now Eckert has taken another step forward with his latest work and apparently heeded the criticism of its predecessor "Aufgeputscht".
The reader looks in vain for agonizing brute expressions such as "cunt panorama" and the plot is far more comprehensible without a pen and notepad, even if it is no less tricky. Eckert has condensed his novel into 280 pages that are easy to read, giving his characters more humanity and "goodwill", and even humor flows into the otherwise hard and dry stories. On the one hand, this is a bit more streamlined, on the other hand, it clearly benefits the reading experience of "Purpurland" - less Ellroy, more Eckert, so to speak. By the way, the reunion effect with numerous characters from the previous novels does one thing.
Entirely new pages of the author's letter are revealed
Most notably, however, the link between the Düsseldorf crimes and the war in Afghanistan was successful, with Eckert revealing entirely new pages in his writing. If he otherwise achieved tension and atmosphere by describing the plot in short sentences, through catchy dialogues, he succeeded in "Purpurland" for the first time by describing the inhospitable landscape of Afghanistan. Unfortunately, it has to be said that only a few chapters play in the mountain world in the Hindu Kush - these alone are worth reading from "Purpurland". Above all, however, these passages fulfill an extremely important task (also because of the imminent expansion of the German troops): Almost forgotten because of the Iraq war, the everyday brutal reality of German soldiers is moving in Out of area-Inserts in the focus. And more vividly than any photo series, than any report. Without a doubt, a brilliant piece of German crime literature!
Back to Düsseldorf, because there is a bit of disappointment in view of the impressive Afghanistan plot. Serial killer, of all people, occurs spontaneously, becomes Purpurland but then not really fair. Fortunately, there is more to the missing women and the corpse in the investment ruin and thus offers everything the crime reader's heart desires: repulsive corruption, moving human passions and abysses, captivating action and a team of investigators, albeit not homogeneous, but extremely interesting. This is Eckert as you know him and why you read and appreciate him.
A sober, illusion and relentless moment recording
Even if, in the end, more Afghanistan and less serial killer story would have lifted the novel even more clearly out of the mass of new publications, the bottom line is that the bottom line is a gripping, sober, illusion-free and relentless snapshot of reality. And this time not only from Düsseldorf but the reality of the world in times of violence. Purpurland is far more than you can currently expect from a detective novel.
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