"Only dead people don't lie", the second crime story by Katarzyna Bonda, encouraged me to read her other books. Recently, in order to catch up, I got hold of her first novel and I was not able to put it down.

In the "Nina Frank case" we meet the policeman Hubert Meyer and learn about his professional successes and the fact they do not match the failures in his private life. He isn't a common lawman who drives around in a police car. He doesn't shoot or arrest anybody; he is a perishingly intelligent and perceptive police psychologist-profiler, who has formulated a method for describing criminals.

The action of the novel unfolds in two parallel worlds. The first is Mielnik by the River Bug – a calm and idyllic village. Everybody knows each other. They shop in the same place and pray in the same church, and afternoon TV series are their only recreation. The second world is the dirty but seemingly shiny world of show business in the big city. Nina Frank – the most popular Polish serial actress – is the connection between the two worlds. She tells her story from beyond the grave through pictures from a diary. On the one hand we meet a beautiful woman who is as nice and saintly as the character of the nun she plays, but on the other hand we have a flurried girl who makes bad choices in a world full of alcohol, drugs and lovers. The desire to get something better than her mother's work as a librarian, the prospect of fame and money push her to get involved in dirty tricks, sins and scams. Like a moth that's flown too close to the flame, the young girl from a good home meets with disaster. Hubert Meyer has to help unravel the murder of this beautiful actress.


I would like to introduce to you my son's new friend. Our relationship has already lasted a few months, but every day we get to know each other better. He is big, has a long beard, wide smile, bulky belly and an equally huge heart. He lives in Cabin among many strange, fairy-tale creatures, and above all he loves children. Do you know why? Because children do not get angry for long, get a lot of fun out of nothing, like to smile, are deep sleepers and are familiar with sweets like nobody else. You see that it is easy to get on with Tappi the Viking. You need only to wake up the child sleeping within.

Every evening I travel with my son to the Magic Forest to experience with Tappi his amazing adventures. You should be aware that apart from children Tappi likes adventures very much. I guess the adventures know about it, because even a simple walk to the forest finishes in the most amazing way. The huge Viking's best friend is a small reindeer called Chichotek. Although he looks spooky, he has a big heart and a lot of good ideas which help Tappi get out of his predicaments. As well as Chichotek we meet the yakking ravens Paplak and Trajkot, a whole crew of giants, a couple of pleasant elves and some less pleasant gnomes, multi-coloured dragons, a witch called Skrzypicha, a blacksmith called Sigurd, a trader called Pasibrzuch and a hunter called Haste. The heroes are surrounded by a magical world called Cabin, which can take offence, a clever Forest, aggressive rocks, murmuring mountains, a bleak river, impish waves on the sea and a nasty wind. All of these things leave children spellbound. It is amazing that a nice Viking who cares about his friends and forest can appeal to kids as much as popular, ugly cartoons with their heroes and terrifying adventures.


The book "Only dead people don't lie" by Katarzyna Bonda fell into my hands completely by chance. I didn't know that it is part of a trilogy, and I didn't read any review regarding the author and her work. My first meeting with her criminal stories was not burdened with either positive or negative independent opinions. And it was good, because even if I try to be objective and not to take into consideration others' opinions, their attitude always stays with me. This time I can with a clear conscience say that I have formed my own opinion.

"Only dead people don't lie" is the second volume of the Hubert Meyer series about the police psychologist-profiler who when running an investigation creates a psychological picture of the murder. He is one of the main heroes in this novel. Meyer, the prosecutor Weronika Rudy and homicide policeman Waldemar Szerszeń are introduced to us at the scene of a macabre crime in Katowice center. The victim is trash baron Schmidt, murdered in the flat belonging to a well-known sex therapist in a historic townhome. The profiler has to prepare expertise leading to the murderer's capture. The first examination of the murder scene indicates the reason for the robbery, and the next traces and interrogations lead the investigators' line of thought to the world of business. It turns out that the beautiful townhome hides another crime mystery that was apparently solved more than 17 years before. Is it a coincidence that in the same place two people lost their lives? Are both crimes somehow connected?

The author masterfully leads us through a maze of plot threads and new witnesses. We think that the case's solution has emerged from a fog, that the murderer is just behind the corner, that the next answer will give us the final solution to the mystery. In the meantime it emerges that the interrogations only multiply the doubts and the uncovered mysteries deepen the investigation more and more. Is it really the case that only dead people don't lie?


I have behind me another meeting with the lawyer Mikael Brenne from the book "In one's own right" by Chris Tvedt.

The story starts a year after the affairs from "Justified doubt". Mikael Brenne, now a well-known and recognised attorney, takes on the defence of a murder suspect. It seems that this case is impossible to win. At the dock sits a strange man charged with raping, mutilating and brutally murdering a teenage girl. His guilt is almost without question, but a coincidence means that the public is surprised by the judge's sentence. The lawyer feels that he will regret his decision to take the case, and all this may be a difficult point on his career path.

After around hundred pages the case is closed, leaving however more questions than answers. Feeling cheated, Mikael's growing concern leads him to commit further actions that far exceed the standard activities of a lawyer. Once again his sometimes thoughtless behaviour leads him into trouble and endangers his close relatives and friends. His next client is surprisingly closely connected to his former case.

"In one's own right", similar to the previous volume, is a very good read. Despite being a criminal story taking place in court, nobody can be bored. Fast flowing action, coincidences, witnesses appearing at the least expected moment mean that right until the end nobody knows whether the killer is the gardener or the butler. The balance between courtroom hearings and criminal action is perfectly worked out.


Sometimes I face a book series so gripping that I am almost not able to wait for the next volume. I remember a few years ago when I was waiting impatiently for the next Harry Potter books. Later on I was awaiting the next Millennium books or the adventures of prosecutor Teodor Szacki.

I think that thanks to Chris Tvedt, the author of a judicial crime fiction series, I have something to await once again. The first volume "Justified doubt" begins the series of adventures of a lawyer named Mikael Brenne, whose work defending petty thieves and his private life leave a lot to be desired. Both aspects do not pan out especially well. The future shows that daily life with its boring troubles is not as bad as it seems. Mikael tries to save his company's finances by cooperating with a Serbian businessman. He quickly realises that it was probably a mistake. Every coming day brings new doubts and risks. Murky businesses, phantom companies, strange partners and brutal methods of action become bread and butter for the lawyer. Will the huge money and his companions' impunity lead to the rejection of his own rules? And maybe Mikael will realize in time who the people in suits are and will resign from the cooperation? And maybe, when he ends up entangled in doubtful businesses, he will do something completely different? See for yourself by reading this uniquely addictive book.

After reading the short description of the novel on the back cover and realizing that the action takes place in a court, I was expecting rather boring and wordy prose. To my surprise and satisfaction I had in my hands an addictive piece of crime fiction which kept me guessing until the last page.

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