The Skeleton Road

Atlantic Monthly. Dec. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780802123091. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780802192141. F
When a skeleton with a bullet hole in its skull is found in a parapet of an abandoned building in Edinburgh, the case is clearly in DC Karen Pirie's Historic Case Unit's jurisdiction. The body turns out to belong to a Croatian general who worked with the UN War Crimes Tribunal following the Balkan Wars in the 1990s. As a result, Pirie's investigation ranges from Edinburgh and Oxford to Dubrovnik and Sheviningen, and, as it turns out, she is not the only one following the trail or seeking justice for the dead.
VERDICT The backdrop of the Balkan Wars result in some unexpected plot twists but also leads to a loftier examination of the morality of vengeance. However, Pirie's humor and tenacity balance the larger issues, introducing a crime novel that is both enjoyable and irresistible. [See Prepub Alert, 4/21/14.]

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