Tourist brochures present Istanbul as a glamorous, modern city, but the brochures don’t make much mention of Balat, a decrepit neighborhood of narrow, twisting alleys and crumbling tenements.
Until recently it was home to Leonid Meyer, a reclusive elderly Jew who, like many of his neighbors, came here long ago to escape one of Europe’s various bloodbaths. But Meyer’s refuge ultimately became his coffin, the carnage crowned with a gigantic swastika. A racist murder?
Inspector Cetin Ikmen of the Istanbul police department has his doubts, and begins tracking down the few people who might have known the old man, including a faded prostitute, a shadowy family of Russian emigrés, a despairing rabbi, and a high-strung young Englishman in the throes of erotic obsession. Belshazzar’s Daughter is the first in a stunningly atmospheric series from a writer who has deservedly been called “The Donna Leon of Istanbul.”
Who's Likely to Like This
Fans of Donna Leon and exotic, atmospheric locales
“Intriguing, exotic, exciting, and original”—Literary Journal