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  • The Murder of Anton Livius REVIEWS
  • Hansjoerg Schneider |  The Murder of Anton Livius
The Murder of Anton Livius REVIEWS

“One of the great pleasures of this publisher is that you can move on from one milieu to another. So, from Montevideo, I switched to the Franco-Swiss borderland near Basle for Hansjörg Schneider’s The Murder of Anton Livius, the translation of a German original published in 2007, with the translation supported by the Swiss Arts Council. Schneider, who lives in Basle, has published ten in the series, of which this is the third to be translated into English. The setting is atmospheric in place and mood. It is a case of borderlands, not only in the physical setting which reveals the extraordinary and often farcical difficulties personality and protocol place in the face of Franco-Swiss attempts to co-operate (The Bridge with depth and wit), but also temporally, between 1943 and the present, and in temperament, the last possibly reflecting the elderly author who was born in 1938. Schneider is also an accomplished playwright and there is a theatrical character to much of the novel, notably the scenes in bars which are also reminiscent of Simenon plays:

‘…I had heard a professor at the university, Gottlieb, the psychologist, mention your name – he had written a book called Modern Crime Detection –”
“Yes. A book that an intelligent criminal should send as a gift to every detective he knows.”
“Perhaps … he said that you were not susceptible of analysis because you had intuition from the devil…’

The story begins with an allotment find, that of an elderly man killed by a shot and then hung up by a meat-hook. The journey takes a while but leads to the Third Reich. Those, such as ex-President Trump, Sir Max Hastings, and other luminaries who have mistakenly praised its armed forces, might care to reflect on the methods of recruitment employed by the Germans in Alsace. The novel is sophisticated, well-written, witty, as in the description of the pompous, class-obsessed author of detective novels, and short. I was very impressed.”---The Critic

  • Author avatar
    Francois Von Hurter
  • Hansjoerg SchneiderThe Murder of Anton Livius